Comprehensive redevelopment of the Buchanan Galleries is back on the table
January 21 2022
Glasgow City Council has gone back to the drawing board on proposals to om comprehensively redevelop the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre by opening negotiations with head tenant Landsec to create a mixed-use quarter.
As head landlord, the council is driving initial concepts for a decade-long build through to 2033 which would deliver a net-zero mixed retail, office, leisure and residential quarter in the heart of the city, part of a broader shift away from mono-use zones such as the IFSD.
Reflecting the changed reality of post-pandemic retail the plans favour a combination of uses made possible by capping over the north cutting to Queen Street Station in whole or in part to establish additional development land or a significant public space - subject to ongoing discussions with Network Rail. This is a marked shift from the plans as first envisaged in 2013, which heavily emphasised retail with an additional 500,000sq/ft of floorspace that would have doubled the footprint of the mall.
If delivered this could open up the potential for new active travel routes to be routed from the station to other transport hubs as part of efforts to break up the monolithic mass of the current mall.
Early ideas include reconfiguring the area around the Concert Hall steps to improve access between Buchanan Street and Buchanan Bus Station and Glasgow Caledonian University. The council emphasise however that any changes would reflect continued usage of the space as a place of rest, protest and gathering.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "A 21st-century city centre delivering on Glasgow’s international standing and ambitions means more mixed-use developments, a greater residential population, more public spaces, sustainable transport options and more people-focused streets.”
The business case for the project has still to be made with the council considering the use of Tax Incremental Finance (TIF), a mechanism for permitting borrowing against higher rates drawn from subsequent development, to fund enabling works to make the project a reality.