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Phased Trongate masterplan won’t get underway till Autumn 2016

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March 4 2015

Phased Trongate masterplan won’t get underway till Autumn 2016
Construction work on an ambitious £110m redevelopment of virtually an entire block of brownfield land in Glasgow’s Merchant City won’t get underway until September 2016 whilst mace and Mercer real Estate secure the necessary consents and clear remaining buildings on site.

A phased programme of works at the Candleriggs Quarter would see builders first move on-site to deliver a 597 bed student housing development, before moving onto delivery of 377 private rental apartments and a 124 bed hotel in March of the following year.

Not until October 2017 would work begin on a final phase of 135 homes for sale with full completion expected by March 2019.
In a planning statement JLL said ‘expedient determination’ of the planning application would be critical to meet this timescale, with discussions ongoing surrounding the façade retention of a B-listed property at 140-144 Trongate and demolition of further unlisted properties to the west of the application area.

The consultants add: “At ground floor level the scheme provides retail spaces to all street and square frontages. The intention is that units suitable for ‘High Street’ retailing are provided along the Trongate with the potential for a larger anchor store or small supermarket at the Candleriggs corner. This should help draw the success of Argyll Street further along the Trongate with a commensurate increase in footfall and general levels of quality in the streetscape.”

Designed to incorporate lower scale buildings around a central square with taller structures toward the perimeter with eight storeys above retail serving as a ‘plinth’ level above which will rise taller elements of 12, 13 and 17 storeys, the latter of which will include a rooftop ‘lantern’.

Cladding materials proposed by Richard Murphy Architects include a combination of precast concrete/reconstituted stone panels, solid timber doors, metal fascia panels, aluminium mesh and glass balustrades.
'Scotlands Biggest Leather Store' will, sadly, survive unscathed
'Scotlands Biggest Leather Store' will, sadly, survive unscathed
A listed building at the corner of Hutcheson Street and the Trongate will be retained
A listed building at the corner of Hutcheson Street and the Trongate will be retained

A low-rise hotel will front the schemes central public space
A low-rise hotel will front the schemes central public space
All street and square frontages will house ground floor retail - in stark contrast to the recently approved Buchanan Galleries extension
All street and square frontages will house ground floor retail - in stark contrast to the recently approved Buchanan Galleries extension

The sprawling site will remain undeveloped for years yet
The sprawling site will remain undeveloped for years yet


Alison Cherrie
#1 Posted by Alison Cherrie on 4 Mar 2015 at 12:00 PM
This looks excellent and I'm very pleased this section of Argyle Street is going to be completely revamped as it's been an eyesore for years. Do you know if any work is planned for the row of shops that includes Argyle Street Station? That is another eyesore! Thank you.
#2 Posted by Alf on 4 Mar 2015 at 13:21 PM
Is there really STILL a need for student accommodation? Where is this need being identified from, the universities themselves or GCC?

I think this is a positive development (except for the leather shop; surely they must be able to do something with it, even just a do-up of the facade to bring it in-line with the development), just concerned about the ratio of student flats v 'normal' flats.
John Glenday
#3 Posted by John Glenday on 4 Mar 2015 at 15:32 PM
Not that I'm aware of Alison, I believe these will be the next two applications

and 50-52 Argyle Street, I understand they will both be more student housing.
#4 Posted by wonky on 4 Mar 2015 at 16:50 PM
I welcome the massing, urban density, of this development, that is appropriate to the inner city locus- inner public square is a nice touch as are the great looking staggered balconies. Just hope the finish is of a reasonably high standard.
#5 Posted by Roddy on 4 Mar 2015 at 17:46 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but this is probably the city centre's biggest build since the 'Galleries' * splutters*but is portably more comparable in scope to the Anderston Centre.

Whilst many are hungry for this segment of city to be achieved the timescale for completion seems not unreasonable.
#6 Posted by David on 4 Mar 2015 at 17:53 PM
does anyone know what is going to happen to this building on Brunswick Street? Retained or demolished?
John Glenday
#7 Posted by John Glenday on 4 Mar 2015 at 18:08 PM
That block will be demolished in January 2016
Andrew McEwan
#8 Posted by Andrew McEwan on 4 Mar 2015 at 20:03 PM
I dislike the fact that, in effect, one architect is designing a whole city block. It lacks the richness in character of the surrounding urban fabric.

Whilst I'm not massively offended by the scale at the corners of the block, the black clad boxes sitting on top of the sandstone plinth is a particularly poor way of contextualizing the design, especially when the black box is equal in height to the plinth.

Get it sorted!

#9 Posted by Donut on 4 Mar 2015 at 20:52 PM
Excellent. This is a quality design that will be a great addition to the city.

It seems to be rare for a new development in Glasgow to be as generous with its public space as this.

I just hope we don't see a series of scaled back ambitions as the various phases are due to commence.

Glasgow Harbour still haunts me.
#10 Posted by Brian on 4 Mar 2015 at 22:23 PM
I am glad something is happening with the site.Maybe if crossrail ever goes ahead with Hub station at the cross it will help bring this area back up again,I used to live in the area when train station was opened and it was always busy,
#11 Posted by Roddy on 4 Mar 2015 at 23:14 PM
I know what you mean Andrew.

We have 2 architects responsible for 3 of the biggest projects the city has seen in over a decade. BDP for the redevelopment of Queen St station and the extension of Buchanan Galleries and RMA for the new Candleriggs quarter.
One project which offers up a mean, homogenised retail monoculture, destructive of the city grain and streetscape: the other attempting to create a new piece of city, linked by public spaces.

Candleriggs will be the work of one hand , certainly, but infinitely preferable.
bing bong
#12 Posted by bing bong on 5 Mar 2015 at 14:09 PM
I think its great that the leather store remains even if it is pot ugly. The building itself will have a limited lifespan and either be demolished in the future or be converted. At least then there will be diversity along Argyle Street in the long term. The Press Bar is a similar example on Albion street. The owner stood his ground from the flatted development and in say 20-50 years time things will move on and we might get some interesting tall narrow building typologies. Not everything has to be developed or designed in one go especially in a diverse city such as Glasgow.
#13 Posted by George on 5 Mar 2015 at 15:38 PM
Great thinking bing bong....

So for "20 - 50 years" a great new development is completely spoilt by some obstinate landlord. No, compulsory purchase is required for this leather eyesore.
#14 Posted by Peter on 5 Mar 2015 at 20:34 PM
@ #4. I was actually thinking the complete opposite! Seems well over-developed in comparison to anywhere in Glasgow except Glasgow harbour or the Clydeside, which isn't good a good thing. The 'wonky' balconies are a horrible, meaningless distraction in my eyes. There are a lot of other visual distractions happening here though. Not many of them good. That's what you get when your design doesn't really have anything to say. No story to tell. Just arbitrary clutter to dress it up.
@ #8 totally agree about the awful proportions of plinth to top. Disagree strongly about the single architect though; John Dobson didn't exactly make a mess of Newcastle's Grey St did he, or Nash of Regent St?
Very much like the idea of a large square, although interested to know who will own it. I assume we have another Paternoster Sq. on our hands?
#15 Posted by Billy on 5 Apr 2015 at 09:41 AM
The leather shop has to go. What an eyesore. And I agree with another comment. argyle st train station . The 70s build has to be demolished and built to a similar height of surrounding buildings. Looks like it should be on servicing an industrial estate not prime retail. Come on Glasgow start picking off the eyesores. And how about a new public square East of. St Enoch centre. Get rid of the outdoor car parks. Somewhere to sit in the summer and which could be used for events instead of George square.

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