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Vacant site to be developed

Property tycoons behind ‘biggest’ office plan


Proposal for vacant site will be one of city’s biggest

One of Glasgow’s biggest office developments is proposed for a vacant site in the city’s International Financial Services District.

Vanguard Real Estate has acquired a 0.79-acre site on the south side of Argyle Street, bounded by Robertson Street and York Street which has been vacant for 20 years.

Glasgow-based architecture practice Cooper Cromar has drawn up plans for the 280,000 sq ft development which has the capacity for 4,000 workers.

A minimum 12 weeks of pre-application community consultation is now under way, including public exhibitions at The Radisson Blu Hotel before the submission of a planning application to Glasgow City Council in the spring.

The site previously held consent for a hotel and serviced apartments. The development team is currently undertaking a variety of economic and historic environment studies on the site.

Conor Osborne, director, Vanguard Real Estate, said: “We believe this is one of the best undeveloped opportunities in Scotland – and are looking forward to working with the council to deliver a forward-thinking office scheme.

“It will provide a competitive edge for the city, giving Glasgow a high-calibre development to attract blue-chip occupiers, and demonstrate the city is ready to support inward investment. We engage with potential occupiers at the earliest opportunity as part of an innovative approach to providing frictionless solutions to tenants.”

Vanguard Real Estate comprises Abu Dhabi-headquartered Gulf Resources Development & Investment (GRDI) and property professional Jim Kelly and has delivered £2 billion of property projects globally.

Mr Kelly, former owner principal of St Francis Property Group, has a legacy portfolio with a gross development value of £500 million. This includes site works for HSBC’s new office and Paradise Circus, Birmingham.

The site is being sold by Singapore property company Scotsbridge and is led in Glasgow by entrepreneur Shazad Bakhsh, who played a central role in assembling the site and retains a minority share in the site ownership.

Mr Bakhsh, executive director of Scotsbridge, said: “This will be one of the most important new office developments Glasgow has seen in decades and will support significant levels of new jobs and investment.

“We are delighted to have assembled the land and now to partner with Vanguard Real Estate to progress this landmark development.”

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