Talking Property

Mandela luring investors to Glasgow

Ken HoustonIn 1981 Glasgow conveyed the Freedom of the City on Nelson Mandela, at the time serving a life sentence in prison in his native South Africa.

This was the first time any city in the world had taken such a step, leaving the majority Labour councillors mightily pleased with themselves.

This no doubt helped motivate the city council to go a step further five years later and change the name of historic St George’s Place in the city centre to Nelson Mandela Place, a decision not unconnected with the fact that the South African Consulate was located there at the time.

Not so happy were members of the Glasgow business community who – though said to be avowedly anti-apartheid – felt the politically-controversial renaming of a traditional address in the commercial heart of the city sent the wrong message to inward investors.

Of course, with the ending of apartheid in South Africa and Mandela’s emergence as a statesman who displayed an understanding of the position of the white population and business in general, no one would think of a commercial address connected to Nelson Mandela as anything other than an asset.

Thus, CBRE Global Investors’ “comprehensive” refurbishment of No 8 Nelson Mandela Place is seen to be paying off with the letting of the third floor (north) to Rathbone Brothers, a big provider of investment management services with a heritage dating back to 1742.

The new tenant has taken 5,127 sq ft of accommodation at an initial rental of £15.50 a sq ft. The building comprises just under 20,000 sq ft with 9,700 still vacant.

Agents for CBRE Global Investors in the deal were Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield with Bilfinger GVA representing Rathbone Brothers. Exiting tenants include Frazer-Nash, IBI, NHS and Balfour Beatty.

Twitter: @PropPRMan

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