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Merchant City Regeneration Site Continues to Take Shape with Second Major Completion


June 2024

£81.5 Million Build-to-Rent Scheme Completes at Glasgow's Candleriggs Square

Merchant City Regeneration Site Continues to Take Shape with Second Major Completion

The £300 million transformation of Candleriggs Square in Glasgow's Merchant City is continuing apace following the completion of the second major building on the site - a 346-homes build-to-rent scheme, forward funded by Legal & General (L&G).

Main contractor GRAHAM Construction has delivered the practical completion of the £81.5 million scheme, allowing L&G to progress with the internal fit-out of the building before the first residents move in later this summer.

Developed by a joint venture between Drum Property Group and Stamford Investments, the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site is regarded by many as the last and most important piece of Glasgow's Merchant City regeneration jigsaw. The square welcomed the opening of Scotland's largest hotel by room numbers, the 494-room Social Hub Glasgow, in April this year.

Designed to meet the increasing demand for high-quality city centre rental accommodation in Scotland, the 325,000 sq. ft L&G scheme provides 346 apartments together with a range of retail and commercial units at ground floor level creating an attractive and accessible public realm. An entrance lobby opens onto Glasgow's Trongate, providing direct access to a communal landscaped courtyard at the first-floor level, while a range of roof terraces provide spectacular views across the city.

The building's completion was marked by the release of drone footage showing how the finished homes form a spectacular cornerstone of the Candleriggs Square regeneration.

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director of Drum Property Group, said: "Candleriggs Square is now starting to come alive, fulfilling the the development vision we outlined when we first took ownership of the site in 2019. With the completion of the L&G apartments and the opening of The Social Hub Glasgow, we are seeing this vital part of the city centre, which had lain dormant for more than 20 years, take shape in spectacular fashion.

"Candleriggs Square has always been at the centre of Glasgow's commercial and social development, and this completion will be a huge boost to the area and to local businesses. We can now positively look forward to bringing back to life a very special area which has always been at the centre of Glasgow's commercial and social development."

Dan Batterton, Head of Residential at Legal & General Investment, added: "We are delighted to reach completion of at Candleriggs Square, bringing a new community to the heart of the Merchant City. Helping to meet Glasgow's increasing demand for high-quality rental housing, the site offers a well-designed, flexible living space integrated within the broader regeneration of the city centre. We look forward to welcoming our first residents in the coming months.

"Having launched our Build to Rent strategy in 2016, we have since deployed over £3 billion of institutional capital into the sector and expanded our portfolio to 24 schemes across 13 cities - we've been on a rapid trajectory of growth and look forward to continuing with this as precedent."

The 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site - bound by Wilson Street, Hutcheson Street, Candleriggs and Trongate - was originally home to Glasgow's flourishing fruit and vegetable market. For most of the 20th century, the square played host to a department store before remaining unoccupied and derelict for more than two decades, following the closure of the last operator there in 1999.

Drum and Stamford's joint venture launched the ambitious £300m plan to transform Candleriggs Square when they first bought the site in March 2019. Plans include a high-quality mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and local amenities, together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways, with a new public square at its heart.