Work to begin on 500-bedroom hotel on Glasgow Merchant City gap site

Construction is poised to begin at a £300 million development on a prominent gap site in Glasgow’s Merchant City.

Preparatory on-site works have started for a giant 500-bedroom hotel at Drum Property Group’s Candleriggs Square project.

The local council approved plans for the hotel in May 2020, and construction is now expected to start this July.

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The complex will be owned and operated by The Student Hotel (TSH) – a pan-European investor, developer, owner and operator of a “hybrid” hospitality model offering a mix of functions. These include hotel accommodation, “co-living and co-working spaces”, a bar and restaurant, conference rooms and fitness centre.

A CGI showing The Student Hotel at Candleriggs Square, Glasgow.

TSH currently owns and operates 13 hotels across Europe in cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Florence, Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht and Paris, with a further dozen sites under development.

The company states that its mission is to “create boundary-blurring spaces where students, travellers, mobile professionals, creative nomads and enterprising minds can connect and thrive in smart design co-living and co-working spaces”.

The hotel marks the first construction phase for the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square development delivered by Candleriggs Development 2 – a joint venture involving Drum Property Group and Stamford Property Investments.

The firms launched their £300m plan to transform the square when the site was bought in March 2019. Plans envisage a mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotel, restaurants and local amenities, together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways with a new public square at its heart.

Glasgow City Council granted a planning application in principle for the entire Candleriggs Square site in May 2020, and recently approved plans for a major 346-apartment build-to-rent (BTR) scheme by Legal & General – construction of which is due to begin later this year.

Graeme Bone, managing director of Drum Property Group, said: “Candleriggs Square is set to become a much-needed catalyst, kick-starting an exciting future for the city centre as it starts to recover following lockdown.

“The TSH development is testament to the commitment and confidence we have placed in both the Candleriggs Square site and Glasgow city centre during these most testing of times.

“It represents a significant step forward in the long-awaited regeneration of one Glasgow’s most prominent gap sites, driving forward the evolution of Candleriggs Square which has quickly established itself as one of Scotland’s largest and most important commercial and residential development sites.

“This will be a huge boost to the area and to local businesses, who are in desperate need of some good news right now.”

Charlie McGregor, founder and chief executive of The Student Hotel, said: “Our pioneering hybrid hospitality model will allow us to configure our new location and adapt it to the rapidly evolving realities of the market.

“TSH’s model has already proved its resilience in the Covid-19 environment, and we now have the operational expertise to keep our buildings safe, with our well designed extensive common areas ideally suited to the demands of different types of visitors.

“The start on site at TSH Glasgow continues our pan-European expansion into the UK where we are looking at further opportunities arising in a post-Covid-19 marketplace.”

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