CITY planners are being asked to approve demolition of a 1960s city centre building and development of a new office block in its place.
Garroch Investments have applied to knock down Princes House, on the corner of Waterloo and West Campbell Street, and build Magnet, a £75 million Grade A development with the highest environmental credentials.
Originally constructed in the mid-1960s, Princes House was formerly home to Lloyds Banking Group, and more recently Barclays.
Neil Haining, director of Mosaic Architecture + Design, said: “The location of the site offers the opportunity for Magnet to be a highly visible landmark within the city through the generation of a taller building than that existing on a gateway site to the city centre.
“As Glasgow needs more mixed-use developments in this part of the city, Magnet will offer a new-build mixed-use development with ground floor retail use with commercial office space above.”
Andrew White, development manager for Garroch Investments, said: “Magnet will be redeveloped to provide new best-in-class Grade A offices, of which there is a shortage in Glasgow.
“It will incorporate high-quality materials throughout that have longevity and will aim to achieve the highest standards of sustainable design and construction, incorporating long-term plans for effective management and maintenance.”
Documents published last year as part of pre-application consultation stated: “The existing building has unfortunately been constructed with High Alumina Cement (HAC) concrete that is no longer acceptable for occupied office buildings. Therefore, trying to rent the existing building to modern Grade A occupiers will not be possible.
“As the building incorporates HAC, it means that the building does not have a long-term future as it is impossible to obtain a fully repairing and insuring lease. Potential occupiers will worry about the quality and longevity of the building therefore it will be unable to secure long-term lets.
“This building will therefore not be able to attract Grade A office tenants to what should be a prime office location.
“The building has already been reclad in 1998 which has reached the end of its useful life span and therefore refurbishment of the external cladding is futile as the building defect lies within the concrete frame of the building which cannot be upgraded or repaired.
“The new owner is committed to the site and developing it. Demolition and new build are the only viable option for this site.”