Artisan unveils £90m hotel and leisure quarter plan for Glasgow’s waterfront

Artisan unveils £90m hotel and leisure quarter plan for Glasgow’s waterfront

An aerial view of Custom House in Glasgow

One of Glasgow’s most significant waterfront development sites is set to be transformed into a thriving hotel and leisure quarter following outline plans unveiled by Artisan Real Estate Investors.

The investment partnership, which is driving Edinburgh’s New Waverley project, has submitted a pre-application notice to Glasgow City Council to develop the Custom House site, which links the city’s famed Buchanan Street with the River Clyde waterfront.

The £90 million plan spans a development area of 2,700 sq.m. and includes the historic sandstone Grade A-Listed Custom House and its former stable block, together with two adjacent tenement buildings straddling the corner of Clyde Street and Dixon Street.

Artisan purchased the site in August 2017 and agreed a leasing deal with the Dalata Hotel Group in November to bring Scotland’s first Clayton Hotel to the Custom House – a four-star development including 300 bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and conference facilities. A 150-room aparthotel is also planned for the adjacent tenement buildings, together with street level bars and restaurants.

Welcoming the proposals, Artisan’s project director Clive Wilding said: “This is a hugely significant opportunity to, once again, bring Glasgow’s burgeoning waterfront area back into the vibrant heart of its city centre.

“For too long, the imposing Custom House with its distinctive Greek revival frontage and its neighbouring tenements had become the forgotten segment of the city’s waterfront, having lain mostly vacant for the best part of a decade. We are now in a position to bring these wonderfully characterful buildings back to life, introducing established boutique hotel and aparthotel brands, which will fill the area with energy and life throughout the day and evening.

“We will now work with our partners to create a flagship regeneration project for the city, providing a seamless link from the Clyde waterfront to the St Enoch Centre transport hub and Buchanan Street - part of Glasgow’s ‘style mile’ and generally regarded as the best shopping street outside of London.”

He added: “We are looking forward to expanding our footprint in Glasgow, and securing another high-quality regeneration opportunity in such an excellent city centre location fits our model perfectly.”

Artisan brings a wealth of experience of sensitive city-centre development, and is currently spearheading the award-winning transformation of Edinburgh’s Old Town through its New Waverley project.

Designed by Irish-born customs official and engineer John Taylor, who was also responsible for the Customs House in Dundee, Glasgow’s Custom House opened in 1840 and provided a direct link from the bustling Clyde quayside to the heart of the city centre. The building underwent internal modifications in 1873 carried out by the renowned Glasgow architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

The imposing double height first floor rooms, fronted by classically styled Doric columns, are the standout feature of the building and will form the heart of the new conference centre for the Clayton Hotel.

The Custom House was more recently occupied by the Procurator Fiscal’s office, which vacated the building in 2007. The neighbouring former tenement buildings were home to a department store in the 1960s as well as other small businesses.

The wider area, including Custom House Quay, Custom House Gardens and Carrick Quay form part of a long-standing Council-backed scheme to transform the waterfront with mixed use development including hotels, retailers, luxury flats and a promenade including restaurants and bars, aiming to create an extension to the retailing and commercial activities within the city along the riverside.

The Custom House project will be delivered by Artisan St. Enoch Quarter Limited, a subsidiary of Artisan Real Estate Investors. Architects will be Glasgow-based Sheppard Robson. Following an ongoing consultation exercise, a detailed planning application is expected to be submitted in spring 2018 with a completion date set, subject to planning, for mid-2020.

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