Hotel and office project
£100m Met Tower and hotel plan gets go-ahead
Hotel alongside Met Tower, seen from Cathedral Street
Transformation of a former college tower block into offices alongside an 11-storey hotel is to go-ahead after being approved by Glasgow City Council.
The £100 million project includes converting the City of Glasgow College building, known as the Met Tower, into 120,000 sq ft of Grade-A office space.
An existing ‘podium’ building facing Cathedral Street will make way for a 260-bed hotel linked to the Met Tower via a landscaped plaza and also accessible to the public.
A double-height auditorium space will be created below the plaza which could also suit a market hall, co-working space or a suite of highly adaptable meeting rooms and theatre style conferencing facilities. This will link to the reception level of the tower and will have its own separate entrance on North Hanover Street.
Hotel looking east along Cathedral Street
Given the building’s location in the heart of the Glasgow City Innovation District and its proximity to the University of Strathclyde, Osborne+Co is confident that the space will be attractive to tech firms as well as other sectors of the market.
Neighbouring developments, such as Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre and Inovo buildings, have attracted a high number of technology companies to the area.
Global property development and investment firm, Osborne+Co, which is leading the project, is also behind the construction of JP Morgan’s European technology hub, accommodating up to 2,700 staff, in Argyle Street.
Met Tower will be converted to open plan offices
Will Hean, development director at Osborne+Co, said: “The Met Tower is intrinsic to Glasgow’s identity and we’ve worked closely with key stakeholders to ensure that our final proposal complements the surrounding area and provides dynamic indoor and outdoor space, which will capitalise on its central location beside Queen Street train station.
“Achieving planning consent comes at a critical time in the real estate market which continues to be challenged because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Despite this, we are committed to investing significantly in Glasgow as we recognise the strength and diversity of the Glasgow economy. Glasgow’s tech sector in particular will be significant as the economy works its way back to strength.
“The scheme will help aid the city’s economic recovery and we are confident it will be welcomed by decision-makers and the community alike with its array of new offerings.”
The existing glazing and distinctive gables on the Met Tower will be replaced on a like-for-like basis and the existing internal structure of the category B-listed building will be opened up to provide efficient floorplates.
The Met Tower currently stands empty
Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “This is excellent news and a strong sign of continued investor confidence in the long-term future of Glasgow City Centre.
“It is a bonus that the Met Tower office and hotel development sits within the University of Strathclyde’s Glasgow City Innovation District and as such is the kind of project that will help shape Glasgow’s growing role in the industries of the future. The provision in the design of a new public space for the heart of the city is also to be applauded.”
Ahead of the planning application being submitted and determined, Osborne+Co worked closely with Glasgow City Council and engaged with organisations such as Historic Environment Scotland, Network Rail, City of Glasgow College and Scottish Futures Trust to ensure its proposals support the wider city development strategy.
Savills and Ryden have been appointed as joint letting agents for the Met Tower.