GLASGOW is undergoing something of a transformational period of commercial property development in 2023. With its growing reputation as a hub for innovation and creativity, Glasgow is also reinforcing itself as a key hub for property investment.

You don’t have to walk too far in the city to see a skyline dominated by cranes, which serves as a good barometer of growth and activity. Among some of the most significant of these developments, although not exhaustive, are those by Chris Stewart Group, Drum Property Group, HFD and Bruntwood SciTech’s acquisition of Met Tower.

Chris Stewart Group is a major player in the Glasgow commercial property market and the company. This year the company is set to complete work on a new mixed-use development which will feature 98 luxury apartments, as well as a hotel plus retail and leisure space, thought to be the famous Soho House private members’ club. The project is expected to be a significant addition to the area, which is located just off George Square, and the buildings at Love Loan have been lovingly restored around a newly constructed lane attracting some other big brands such as a 245-bedroom hotel, AC by Marriott, MY Locanda and Flight Club in the works.

Drum Property Group is another a well-established developer with a long history of delivering successful commercial projects in Glasgow including at Finnieston where it will complete construction of the G3 Square residential development this year, providing 220 apartments for both private ownership and build to rent (BTR).

The Barclays Campus at Buchanan Wharf, delivered by Drum, has been operational for more than a year and has been transformative for the Tradeston area. One of Scotland's largest single-site construction projects, it has restored a neglected part of the waterfront, provided economic opportunities to local people and businesses as well as potential investors in the city. From using local tradespeople to sourcing locally printed fabric for soft furnishings, the project accessed the immense talent available locally to deliver a campus that is truly a product of the city.

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The new HQ for The Student Loans Company will complete later this year, further regenerating Tradeston. GRAHAM is the main contractor for Drum on the new six-storey, purpose-built commercial headquarters with the building offering modern office space to accommodate over 1,000 staff. GRAHAM played a key role delivering the Buchanan Wharf development for Drum, including Solasta Riverside, a 324-apartment BTR complex, which completed in Autumn 2022 and was fully occupied by end of the year.

Following the success of its substantial new-build office development at 177 Bothwell Street, HFD Property Group has begun the redevelopment of Aurora, 120 Bothwell Street. By retaining the existing building structure and façade, it’s estimated that it is retaining circa 81% of the building’s embodied carbon, with the balance covering the full replacement of high efficiency mechanic and electrical systems that are bringing net zero into operation. It’s encouraging to see that Glasgow is continuing to lead from the front and meeting its UK leading target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

And of course, Bruntwood SciTech, which last year purchased the iconic Met Tower, is under way with plans for a £60m investment to redevelop the site into a large collaborative tech and digital cluster to galvanise the city's knowledge economy and create a world-leading hub. This space will host innovative leading businesses within a variety of sectors and is surely further endorsement of the city’s credentials and will offer one of Europe’s most exciting ecosystems with significant growth potential.

All of these, alongside the +£1bn in development activity proposed by both Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch shows the ambition within our city. With a careful balance between modernisation and preservation, with further focus on innovation and sustainability the city is poised to become a true hotspot for further development, investment and business clusters of the future.

Richard Muir is deputy CEO, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce