PLANNERS have approved an application to turn a vacant Glasgow City Centre department store into offices, with rooftop restaurant.
Proposals by property developer and asset manager Sovereign Centros for the B-listed Debenhams building in Argyle Street have been given the go-ahead.
A design document submitted with the application stated: “The Debenhams Building at 65-117 Argyle Street is a very important part of Glasgow, and has long been at the heart of the city’s thriving retail environment.
“Sadly, the declining department store market dictates that the retention of retail on the upper floor levels is not viable. We are retaining an active retail presence at ground floor, and sensitively refurbishing the upper building to restore it to active use and bestow it with a renewed purpose and identity to safeguard its future.”
It continued: “A high quality Grade ‘A’ office development as well as an expansive roof top restaurant are proposed, and the redevelopment of 65-117 Argyle Street offers a rare opportunity to re-animate this substantial part of the Glasgow cityscape, and this key location within the Glasgow Central Conservation Area and will act as a catalyst for major regeneration in the area.
“The scale and quality of development afforded by the elegant facades and generous building floorplates is significant, as it provides the opportunity to secure a large scale occupier, inward investor, or possible public sector occupier.
“The applicant and their consultant team therefore firmly believe that the sensitive refurbishment and adaptive re-use of the Debenhams Building as proposed is both justifiable and appropriate in urban design terms and heritage context.”
Sovereign Centros own the neighbouring St Enoch Centre which it is proposing to completely redevelop.
Guy Beaumont, director at Sovereign Centros, has previously stated: “The [Debenhams] proposals outline how modern new office space could be delivered alongside a striking rooftop restaurant with stunning views across the city.
“The application demonstrates commitment to the ongoing enhancement and investment into St. Enoch Centre.
“An outline planning application is also being progressed for a longer term masterplan to reimagine the centre into a best-in-class, mixed-use development, focusing on retail, leisure, entertainment, hotel, offices and city centre living.”