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Buyers snap up flats at property giant's £70m development

LAND Securities has sold the majority of the 49 apartments it built in central Glasgow as part of its £70 million development at the top of Buchanan Street.

SUCCESS: Property giant Land Securities said that 40 of the flats in central Glasgow had already  sold.
SUCCESS: Property giant Land Securities said that 40 of the flats in central Glasgow had already sold.

The property giant said 40 of the flats in the Buchanan Gardens scheme have already been snapped up.

Prices for a one-bedroom flat started at £149,995, a two-bedroom home at £185,000 and the three-bedroom ones still available are listed at £315,995.

Buyers also get access to the residents' gym, lounge and a sky garden.

There was high interest in the residential scheme with thousands of enquiries from interested would-be buyers around the world before the flats were even completed.

A show flat opened in March last year but the scheme did not fully complete until December.

The 115,000 sq ft retail space below the residential complex attracted American fashion firm Forever 21 to open its first Scottish store alongside the likes of Vans, Gap, Paperchase, Watches of Switzerland, Fat Face, Skechers and Evans Cycles since it opened in March 2013.

In a trading update Land Securities confirmed it had received £94m as its share of the £189m sale of the Bon Accord and St Nicholas Centre in Aberdeen to F&C REIT.

Across its retail portfolio Land Securities said there had been £5.4m of investment lettings signed since the start of October last year with a further £5m in the hands of solicitors.

In the development pipeline there were £7.3m leases signed with £7.9m more going through legal negotiations.

Overall occupancy across its sites, which include the Buchanan Galleries, The Overgate in Dundee and The Centre in Livingston, was up quarter-on-quarter from 97.8% to 98.3%.

The number of units in administration rose 0.1% to 0.7% while voids in the like-for-like portfolio fell from 3% to 2.5% with 1.4% of that related to temporary lets.

Total year-on-year sales at stores in the retail portfolio were said to be 3.9% ahead with the like-for-like figure showing a 0.8% increase.

Footfall dropped 3.8% which was slightly behind a UK national benchmark figure of 3.2%.

Chief executive Robert Noel said: "In retail, there is continued demand for good locations as evidenced by the increased occupancy levels in our properties and, in particular, there is strong demand in food and beverage."

Mr Noel said the company's existing and future retail, office and residential sites in London are still experiencing strong take up of space. He added: "In central London, we have seen occupier demand increase further. This, combined with a constrained supply of high-quality, technically resilient space, means our significant committed programme of speculative developments is well placed."

Land Securities also has a controlling stake in the X-Leisure business which runs The Queens Links Leisure Park in Aberdeen and Fountain Park in Edinburgh.

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