Former Goldberg’s site set to be turned into flats
Plans revealed for 1,200 homes on land that once housed top retailer
ALMOST 1,200 private flats and student rooms have been earmarked for a landmark site once home to one of Glasgow’s retail institutions.
New plans have been lodged that could see one see one of the biggest city centre developments in a generation undertaken on the rundown Trongate area.
The scheme would consume the eyesore plot left largely derelict since the closure of the Goldberg’s department store in 1990 and which had been bought by Selfridges as the site for a major new department store.
Selfridges later abandoned its Glasgow plans and sold the site almost three years ago.
The latest scheme would take a full five years to conclude.
If approved by the local authority the project would include 132 “high quality” apartments for sale, 435 new flats for rental and 586 rooms of student accommodation, as well as a 124-room hotel and retail space.
Developers claim it would “provide increased diversity and vitality to this part of the city centre, which has very much been a missing gap in the regeneration of the Merchant City”.
It would be the biggest city centre development since the Buchanan Galleries in the 1990s.
The firm behind the scheme, Candleriggs Ltd, has already secured planning permission for a slightly smaller development on the site but in recent months has acquired several properties holding up the plans.
The plans state: “Given the economic climate over the past decade and lack of interest in a large scale retail scheme, Selfridges did not take forward the store. In its place, the brownfield site offers an important opportunity upon which to complement the wider mixed use regeneration that has been evidenced in the Merchant City over recent years.
“The overall consented development, of which the infill sites will complement, for residential, private rented sector, student accommodation, hotel, and retail and commercial uses, will reconnect and revitalise this important block within Glasgow.”
The scheme is the latest to promote student accommodation as a key to regenerating some of the city’s once thriving retail thoroughfares.
Earlier this year developers submitted plans to demolish the 1960s building adjoining Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s School of Art, which, if approved, would see the creation of a 185-bed student housing development.
But the Art School has claimed the A-listed masterpiece would be “very adversely affected” by the plans, while heritage and conservation groups joined politicians and the public in submitting objections to the major proposal for the city’s down-at-heel Sauchiehall Street.
Candleriggs Ltd said that although its plans involved the partial demolition of listed building, with facades retained and altered, it had had a cultural heritage statement prepared that stated the longstanding vacant site had stifled the overall regeneration of the Merchant City, “with a dilapidated building and lack of contribution to the urban realm”.
It added the development would “not only preserve the special character of the Central Conservation Area, but will enhance it by bringing back the sense of historic street grid in the Merchant City and re-accentuate the historic street pattern”.
The application concludes: “The proposals presents a suitable and viable development solution that will provide a positive contribution to the final redevelopment and regeneration of the area.”
No-one from Candleriggs Ltd was available for comment.
A city council spokesman said: “An application for the site bounded By Trongate,Wilson St, Brunswick St, Hutcheson Street and Candleriggs has been lodged with the council. It will be assessed in due course.”
‘‘ There will be increased diversity and vitality to this part of the city that has very much been a missing gap in the Merchant City’s regeneration