Building Briefs – January 19th

Atlantic Quay Buildings 1, 2 & 3

DWP signs up to Atlantic Quay 1

Moorfield Group and Resonance Capital have secured a new letting at Atlantic Quay 1, Glasgow by signing 15-year lease with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 85,000 sq. ft.

This follows close on the heels of the long lease of 80,000 sq ft to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Services at Atlantic Quay 3.

DWP will join a number of high profile organisations already based at Atlantic Quay Buildings 1, 2 and 3, including housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel and Lloyds Banking Group.

Moorfield Real Estate Fund III purchased Buildings 1, 2 and 3 Atlantic Quay in September 2015 and a comprehensive refurbishment programme to revitalise the scheme will complete in 2018.


Public partners reach campus-wide agreement for Edinburgh Bioquarter

Four major public sector organisations have come together behind a new plan to develop Edinburgh BioQuarter.

The five-year collaboration agreement sees the City of Edinburgh Council joining NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh as official partners at the health and science campus.

The four organisations have now appointed a Programme Team, led by director Hans Möller, which will develop and implement a business plan in 2018.

The new joint vision will see the development of an integrated campus-wide approach which involves building better collaborative links between academics, scientists, clinicians, healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs. This also includes a cross-partnership focus on improving travel and transport and local amenities for people visiting the site.

A masterplan for Edinburgh BioQuarter, which allocates space to create a modern high density urban environment, received outline planning approval from the City of Edinburgh Council in 2013. Proposals will see a hotel with conference facilities, gym, cafes, multi-storey car parking and more office and lab space for SMEs.


Housing association chair appointed Board member at Clyde Gateway

Robert McLeary

A highly respected and active member of the Rutherglen community is set to take up the vacant position on the board of regeneration body Clyde Gateway URC.

Robert McLeary, the chair of Rutherglen and Cambuslang Housing Association, will be formally appointed to the Board at its next meeting on February 26 in Rutherglen Town Hall. Robert’s appointment will be the conclusion of a recruitment and selection process which set out to identify the most suitable candidate to represent community interests in the South Lanarkshire area.

The vacancy arose from the sudden death, in May 2017, of Tommy Rooney, a community stalwart who served with great distinction on the URC board for more than three years.

Robert, who enjoyed a lengthy career as a Chartered Surveyor before his retirement, has been active in the local community over the past four decades. He was a founder member of the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Housing Association in 1980 and has supported or been involved in an extensive range of community events including Landemer Day and Summerfest.

In addition to having a seat on the URC Board, Robert will also take up a position on the Community Committee alongside representatives from a number of key partner organisations including the Rutherglen-based Healthy’n’Happy Community Development Trust and the Burnhill Action Group.

Robert joins what is a 13-strong board that is chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin.


Macduff harbour ice plant given green light

Macduff harbour is in line for a major upgrade after proposals for a new ice plant were unveiled.

The £350,000 facility is to be built at the port and now Aberdeenshire Council is looking for a company to design and install it.

The plant has been earmarked for the quayside next to the town’s fishmarket and there would also be a conveyor belt for moving ice on to waiting boats.

The local authority has looked into the viability of an ice plant and hope the move will reduce the amount of time and costs for local boats currently travelling for ice.

Potential developers have been told the structure would need to last at least 25 years and noise levels from it should not exceed levels recommended for a residential area.

Aberdeenshire Council is inviting companies to tender bids. The deadline is January 25 at 9.30am.


Developers buy House of Fraser Princes Street store

Property developers have snapped up one of Scotland’s most iconic department stores. Edinburgh-based firm Parabola has acquired the House of Fraser store on Princes Street.

Agents handling the sale of the site, which has had a department store on it since 1894, said it had gone for a price “significantly in excess” of its £13.7 million price tag.

Parabola has bought up the House of Fraser site months after unveiling plans for a new £500 million “urban quarter” on the outskirts of Edinburgh.


Glasgow office market ‘performed well in 2017’

The total office market take-up in Glasgow in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 330,061 sq ft, resulting in 631,814 sq ft of office space transactions across the whole year, according to the latest research from CBRE Scotland.

Andy Cunningham, senior director in CBRE’s Glasgow office, said: “With a strong total take-up for the year the Glasgow office market has performed well, particularly when you consider the 5-year average annual take-up is normally around 550,000 sq ft.  Notable deals include DWP taking 84,542 sq ft at 1 Atlantic Quay and Scottish Courts & Tribunals acquiring 80,498 sq ft at 3 Atlantic Quay.

“However Glasgow is suffering from a severe shortage of ready-to-occupy Grade A space with only 61,026 sq ft remaining available on the market. With no speculative funding to develop we could be facing a challenge with attracting new inward investment and retaining the city’s businesses.  There is also a considerable time lag for building new offices to be delivered, particularly when you require approximately twelve months for all necessary statutory consents and then approximately 30 months for an average construction period.  This will put pressure on rents for new build Grade A space in order to keep up with costs which could create the conditions for a new headline rent in the city moving forward.

“Developers with credible office development sites still need to satisfy occupiers over concerns such as ownership structure, vacant possession, planning, technical skills and track record to complete high quality space within the set programme. With the market not responding to tenant demand, there is a real potential for pre-lets to be agreed.”


Kitchen replacement contract to commence for Cloch Housing Association

CCG Asset Management is to commence a new 3 year kitchen replacement contract for Cloch Housing Association.

The Greenock-based association is part of the IFLAIR Consortium through which this contract has been procured.

Year 1 of the works will be undertaken initially to renew the kitchens in 41 properties within the Inverclyde area.


Fresh drive to bring South Ayrshire empty homes back into full time use

Before and after: 96 St Leonard’s Road in Ayr had fallen into disrepair after the previous owner moved away, with the building empty for more than two years.

Owners of unoccupied homes in South Ayrshire are being offered additional help to sell-up to increase the supply of affordable properties to the community.

South Ayrshire Council is making fresh support available for its Empty Homes initiative, which offers a variety of ways to help bring long term empty properties back into use.

The local authority has pledged to build approximately 1,000 new affordable homes in the next five years. The Empty Homes initiative plays a part in bringing long-term empty properties onto the market with 88 brought back into use since 2011, and 470 still available.

Interest free loans of up to £20,000 are available for owners of empty properties to carry out repairs and refurbishments provided properties are rented at affordable rates. Now, new plans have been approved for owners who don’t want to become landlords, which offer interest free home refurbishment loans, which are repaid at the point of sale.

Owners with concerns about finding the right contractor to carry out work on their property will be encouraged to use South Ayrshire Council’s Trusted Trader Scheme, while those using the council’s Housing Options Service will be given advice on how to engage with owners and landlords in areas where they want to live.

More information on the Empty Homes initiative can be found here.


Developers to redraw plans for derelict Dundee pub

Developers behind plans to build homes on a derelict Dundee pub site are redrafting plans to reduce the number of properties.

Proposals to build four three-bedroom houses and a block of 12 two-bedroom apartments on the site of the former Jimmy Shand pub in Menzieshill were submitted to Dundee City Council last year.

The plans were withdrawn because too many properties were included. Fewer properties in the revised plans will now be submitted.