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Stallan-Brand launch Merchant City student housing consultation

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November 26 2013

Stallan-Brand launch Merchant City student housing consultation
Merchant City Properties have dusted off plans first aired in 2006 to build a £70m student residential scheme near Glasgow’s High Street Station with a revised masterplan prepared by Stallan-Brand.

Seventeen Acres, named after the parcel of land which once hosted the medieval University of Glasgow before making way for a railway goods yard, will provide accommodation for 1,200 students in addition to a new cultural and outdoor space, multi-purpose venue and 15 shop units.

Set within a landscaped park, which takes its inspiration from an historic orchard and botanic gardens, the scheme will reopen access to the long-hidden Molendinar Burn.

Commenting on the scheme Paul Stallan said: "… our focus, working with the City, has been to look at the historic High Street, the critical connections to the Merchant City and new routes that link the Cathedral area with both the Gallowgate and Glasgow Green. In design terms our proposal seeks to extend the urban structure and life of the Merchant City further east beyond Glasgow's historic High Street. The 17 Acres project is about making a piece of city with active streets, connecting thoroughfares and new public spaces.”

Kevin Maguire, managing director of Merchant City Properties, added: "Seventeen Acres will provide quality student accommodation within easy reach of the city's universities and colleges and will transform an area that is currently used as a car park, bringing to life elements of its past through the development.

"This will include landscaping and planting inspired by an original inventory of the old university's 'College Gardens' which stood on part of this location and inspired the name Seventeen Acres.”

A pre-planning application consultation will be held tomorrow at the Merchant Square courtyard, Albion Street.
A mixed residential and learning environment is planned for the historic site
A mixed residential and learning environment is planned for the historic site
Access to the Molendinar Burn will be opened up by the development
Access to the Molendinar Burn will be opened up by the development

Sughtlines to Glasgow Cathedral will be opened up by the development
Sughtlines to Glasgow Cathedral will be opened up by the development
The scheme will cement recent construction at Strathclyde University's science and innovation quarter as well as Collegelands
The scheme will cement recent construction at Strathclyde University's science and innovation quarter as well as Collegelands

The site encompasses land bounded by uke Street, Gallowgate and High Street
The site encompasses land bounded by uke Street, Gallowgate and High Street

12 Comments

Flint
#1 Posted by Flint on 26 Nov 2013 at 20:59 PM
I am not sure I get this. A scheme of this scale would require serious institutional investment in order to deliver it, and it is arguable that it's location would prohibit such commitment. I do not see in the drawings the design aspirations described in the architect's statement. Finally, I assume the land is owned by GCC? It would be interesting to understand the procurement arrangement in relation to it's development.
Sean
#2 Posted by Sean on 27 Nov 2013 at 10:43 AM
As usual alot of superlatives being thrown around by daydreaming marketers. How they plan take account of the sites history is I'm sure not worth mentioning, its impressive how they intend on improving connections between the Merchant City and High Street when the site isn't between them and not quite sure how this development is intending to "open up sightlines" to Glasgow Cathedral. Sure you may be able to see the spire from the top floor but to anyone else would any sort of glimpse make it worth your while visiting this place?

I see no sensible reasoning as to why this site would ever become 'lively / active', it si a dead-end site, set back off the main thoroughfair, with minimal access points due to its railway junction confinement.

Fnally, I presume this will please the politicians as it would finally bring an end to any lingering hope of Crossrail ever being implemented.
Alastair Ewen
#3 Posted by Alastair Ewen on 27 Nov 2013 at 11:26 AM
Unfortunately most of this site is set aside for future rail development linking the Crossrail line to the North Electric line at High Street - High Street station to be relocated. See Glasgow City Council Plan proposal 6.19 and the City Plan maps under Proposals. So it is not possible, this seems to be a bit of kite flying.
brian
#4 Posted by brian on 27 Nov 2013 at 12:14 PM
Yes it wont effect any future form of crossrail plans,Housing would have been better for residents who live there all year around contributing to local economy.
Alastair Ewen
#5 Posted by Alastair Ewen on 27 Nov 2013 at 12:54 PM
If this went ahead it would affect important national strategic rail planning relating to Crossrail, airport mass transit links, and eventually operations around High Speed Rail.
Chris Ditchfield
#6 Posted by Chris Ditchfield on 27 Nov 2013 at 13:03 PM
The site is owned by MCP, not the Council and has been for many years.

Student housing is highly fundable, so the scheme looks deliverable to me.

Despite it being hemmed in by the rail lines, the presence of so many students in this area will enhance the sustainability of non-residential uses.

Looks like an interesting and well thought through proposal to me and will be interesting to see if the long promised rail project continues to blight the site, or if the City can actually deliver regeneration and investment now.
Andrew Martin
#7 Posted by Andrew Martin on 27 Nov 2013 at 15:52 PM
The Crossrail proposal has been binned long ago .... anythings better on this site than a car park ?!?!
Sean
#8 Posted by Sean on 27 Nov 2013 at 18:52 PM
Yes, why should people even contemplate investing in our public transport network, why should we bother trying to right the wrongs of yesteryear. Lets instead build yet another non-descript, monotone, heartless extension to globalised boringness!!! Better still we finally get around to finishing the Inner Ring Road, sacrifice the city's birthplace, BAH!!! who cares as long as we make as much money as possible for developers and their PR Marketers!

Additionally how is a few hundred students shopping at another pokey Tesco Extra or Sainsbury's Local shop on the ground floor going to assist the local economy. There are thousands of students in the area already and I don't see any worthwhile investment.

You want to look for residential land, how about walking 5 minutes through the 1/2 finished collegelands, over the railway to the vast swathes of vacant/derelict land in Carlton, Gallowgate and Bellgrove. Better still you could just leave them for the druggies and prostitutes and go build another bland suburban extension in the greenbelt somewhere!
wonky
#9 Posted by wonky on 27 Nov 2013 at 19:26 PM
Although I only see positives from this project- my only real misgiving is that more urgent areas closeby are going undeveloped. The Shipka Pass mess that is planned to be a new park should be high density housing, particularly on a main urban artery into city centre. The same is true for the spaces around London Rd or even on the s/side arterial route at Bridge St ( a street with it's own subway station!)- could you imaginevsuch wasted space in such prime city sites in Barcelona, Hamburg, Marseille, Copenhagen or Milan? Why then Glasgow. This sums up the UK's central ideological dilemma & the malaise of its intergenerational cultural conditioning that revolves around the hyper privatized car centred sprawl of suburbia. This is my only objection to the plan: it could have been stragetically placed to increase the urban density on main arterial routes in & out of city.
Pat
#10 Posted by Pat on 27 Nov 2013 at 20:29 PM
Okay let's jus leave it as a car park for the next fifty years.
Jonathan
#11 Posted by Jonathan on 28 Nov 2013 at 08:37 AM
Beautiful Sketches, very very clear showing a deep sense of understanding of urban design and the site/area/masterplan. Very nice. Were the aerials hand drawn or 3D 'skecthed'?
Alastair Ewen
#12 Posted by Alastair Ewen on 3 Dec 2013 at 12:07 PM
I went to see the proposals at Merchant Square last week, talked with Paul Stallan and Peter Magnus and my fears about the removal of the wayleave were dispelled. I am impressed with the proposals especially the resurrection of the Molendinar and link bridge to the site from the north. Glad to see Stallan Brand doing well.

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