£76MILLION Student Accommodation Plan To Go-Ahead At City Centre M&S Site

4 May, 2024 | Student Accommodation, Listed / Historic Buildings

REVISED plans for a £76million development to regenerate the M&S site on Sauchiehall Street are to be approved by Glasgow City Council.

The plans, brought forward by student accommodation developers Fusion Group, will see the construction of a student-led, mixed-use development on the site of the former Marks & Spencer store.

In addition to the delivery of 619 beds for the city’s growing student population, the proposals will serve to regenerate Sauchiehall Street, re-establishing the historic arcade link route through to Renfrew Street and creating 9,500 sqft of new commercial space at street level.

Revised plans were submitted by the developer in March, after initial proposals were narrowly refused by the council’s planning applications committee in November last year.

The new proposals address comments made by the committee including a reduction in overall height by one storey and significant adjustments on the Renfrew Street side of the complex, which has been lowered by four floors.

Moreover, the inclusion of affordable accommodation has been increased to 15 per cent, serving to further improve accessibility to accommodation for students on low incomes.

Approval will be confirmed on conclusion of a legal agreement between Fusion and Glasgow City Council.

Brodie Berman, senior acquisitions associate, Fusion Group said: “We are delighted that our proposals for Sauchiehall Street have been minded to grant by Glasgow City Council.

“Having held longstanding ambitions to operate in the city, we are delighted to have reached this milestone, which will see £76million of investment injected directly into Sauchiehall Street, at the heart of Glasgow’s city centre.

“Over the past 20 months, we have worked collaboratively with the council to develop a scheme that will make a positive impact on the local community, while also serving to address the shortfall of student beds in the city.

“Despite some challenges, our commitment to delivering a scheme that we truly believe will enhance Sauchiehall Street has been unfaltering, and we look forward to bringing our vision to life as we move to the construction phase of the project.”

The proposals will also see the 1930s art deco façade preserved and reinstated to its former glory, retaining a piece of Glasgow’s interwar architecture.

A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer said: “We are encouraged that Glasgow City Council is minded to grant approval to reuse our former store on Sauchiehall Street.

“Delivering long-term activity on the site, the proposals align with our estates renewal strategy and will enable us to make further investment in Glasgow city centre over the coming years.”

The development is expected to act as a major catalyst for the wider regeneration objectives of the Council’s ‘Golden Z’ initiative, fostering a vibrant residential community in the heart of the city centre and stimulating footfall on one of Glasgow’s main thoroughfares.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “An investment bringing hundreds of new residents, commercial opportunities and public realm enhancements to Sauchiehall Street can be a major catalyst in the regeneration of this famous thoroughfare.

“Our city centre is changing. Its long-term, sustainable future needs more mixed-use developments and more people living there, and I’m particularly pleased to see the inclusion of affordable accommodation within the plans.

“The collaboration between Fusion and the council to address the planning committee’s initial issues have ensured the revised plans not only improve on the original application but they can be genuinely transformational for the city centre.”

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