A SAN Francisco-based “next generation” hospitality company has leased the top floor of the renowned Teacher Building on Glasgow’s St Enoch Square, where there are also plans for a city centre bar and restaurant on the ground and lower ground floors.

Sonder has signed a lease to operate 25 serviced apartments for short-term accommodation, following an “extensive” refurbishment by the landlord. The accommodation will build on Sonder’s two existing serviced apartment properties in Scotland – Royal Garden Apartments in Edinburgh’s New Town, and at Minerva Way in Finnieston, Glasgow.

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The upper floors of the building have been leased to Sonder, which describes itself as a “next generation” hospitality company, focused on technology-driven service, by Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, on behalf of the landlord. Shepherd is now marketing the ground and lower ground floors, including outdoor seating areas, to prospective good and beverage operators.

The B-listed Teacher building was built in 1875. It was designed by architect James Boucher, known primarily for his involvement in the design of the Kibble Palace in Glasgow, and built to house the headquarters, offices, and dram shop of William Teacher & Son.

Steve Barnett, managing partner of Shepherd, said: "Having been involved in a number of hotel transactions within the immediate locale, including the sale of the iconic Custom House (now 4-star Clayton Hotel) and now the Teacher building, we are delighted to secure Sonder as operator for its upper floors as part of its overall expansion drive.

“With plans to open this summer, the 25 serviced apartments will be designed to balance the building’s whisky heritage with contemporary design.”

Will Kingston, associate director of real estate at Sonder, said: “We’re thrilled to expand within such an iconic landmark building in the heart of Glasgow city centre.

“We expect to accommodate local and international visitors travelling for both business and leisure, and our bespoke fit-out will be complementary to the original fabric of the building as part of its wider regeneration.

“We are delighted to work alongside the landlord and Shepherd to bring this exciting project to fruition. Redeveloping vacant buildings into exciting new places helps bring visitors into vibrant city centres like Glasgow.”

Mr Barnett added: “We are currently seeking a leisure operator to complement the upper floor use as a high quality bespoke serviced apartment building run by an international operator.”