By Scott Wright

HITACHI Rail has been revealed as the latest tenant at 24 St Vincent Place, the historic former home of the Citizen newspaper in Glasgow.

The letting to the rail company means the Grade A office development is close to being fully let, following a £1.5 million refurbishment carried out by Highbridge Estates.

The red sandstone, Grade A-listed 24 St Vincent Place was built in 1889 and was one of the first fully electric buildings in Glasgow when complete, linking to the Waterloo Street power station which was built in 1892. Architect TL Watson was commissioned to design a building that would accommodate both offices and printing presses.

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More than a century later, the building was acquired in 2011 by London-based Highbridge, which appointed C2 Concepts to redesign the upper four floors of office space following its work on the reception.

Seb Wilson of Highbridge said the disruption brought by Covid meant it has been a challenge to secure tenants since the refurbishment was complete in February 2021. But the building is close to being fully let now after Hitachi Rail committed to a 2,000-2,500 square foot site. Negotiations are at the legal stage with a party looking to take on the whole of the third floor, meaning the only remaining space is a 4,069 square foot plate (plus a kitchen at the rear) on the second floor.

As well as Hitachi Rail, tenants at the building include The Citizen restaurant, which anchors the building on the ground floor, The Hearing Clinic, Mabo Media, Admin Control (trading as Mamut Software), and Wardell Armstrong.

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“The location of our building is fantastic, right by George Square and in between the two train stations and just off Buchanan Street,” Mr Wilson told The Herald. “You couldn’t ask for a better location so that helped us a lot with the occupier market in getting viewings.”

C2 stripped the interior back to its original shell to reveal original features such as cornicing, and removed false ceilings. Artwork by Michael Murray in the reception references the building’s two exterior famous clock faces and its place in Glasgow’s newspaper history.

Jean Camplisson at C2 said: “We were was tasked with creating an office space to meet the demands of modern working life, while harnessing the building’s rich history. One of our aims when reimagining an environment is to create something both inspiring and work-friendly and I’m really proud of the work our team has done on this project.”

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“We’ve opened up the building and stripped everything back to the natural shell. By taking away false ceilings the light now streams in from front to back. You now see the building as it was originally intended but with a contemporary slant on what was already there, combining comfort with practical solutions to modern working practices.”

Mr Wilson added: “The only reason we kept hold of it is because it such a cracking building with a lot of history which has helped with refurb and marketing to sell it to occupiers. But also, the location of one of the first red sandstone buildings [which] is pretty rare to get in Glasgow. It has taken a while, but we got there in the end.”