Chris Stewart Group steps up George Square urban regeneration project
The regeneration and reimagination of a key development site in Glasgow has taken a significant step forward as work is set to commence on a 245-bed AC by Marriott hotel.
The project is part of a £100 million mixed-use development which will transform the north east corner of George Square into the city’s newest neighbourhood, Love Loan.
Chris Stewart Group (CSG) was selected as preferred developer by Glasgow City Council in 2015 and has been entrusted by the council to establish a new story for the historic assets and vacant land, known as the George Street Complex on George Street, and to create a new urban destination for the people of Glasgow, as well as visitors to the city.
CSG is finishing demolition works and will commence construction on the new hotel in the coming months. The hotel represents the first stage in delivering an experience and lifestyle-led destination in the heart of the city, skirting Merchant City and the transformed Queen Street Station.
AC by Marriott, the hotel group’s design-led product, has been confirmed as the operating brand at Love Loan. The hotel will bring style, elegance and all the amenities that business and leisure guests will need. It will be a welcome addition for Glasgow’s burgeoning tourist market and will fill an 80-year-old gap site to the south east corner of the George Square block.
As well as a hotel, Love Loan will also deliver contemporary new homes to the city centre, with a focus on innovative and low carbon living. Residents of Love Loan and guests of the hotel will be able to enjoy an array of leisure and well-being pursuits provided as part of the development, as well as being part of a sustainable and energy-efficient community. Electric car club and extensive bike storage facilities will be provided for all to use.
Overlooking George Square and Glasgow City Chambers, the project involves bringing A- and B-listed buildings back into public use through sensitive alteration and adaptation of the listed fabric. The creation of the hotel and residential development will bring new build elements to the site to sit harmoniously alongside the existing heritage buildings.
Chris Stewart, CEO of Chris Stewart Group, said: “We have a great relationship with Marriott having opened the Courtyard hotel in Edinburgh a number of years ago. We’re delighted to be working with them again on the same franchise basis, this time bringing their AC brand to Scotland. The interiors of the hotel are very much understated elegance and timeless in style, which works in both the new build element as well as the A listed 266 George Street element.”
A new pedestrian lane, to be known as Love Loan on completion of the development, will provide a link from North Frederick Street to John Street, offering an east/west thoroughfare for University of Strathclyde students and faculty, as well as residents, visitors and hotel guests. It will underpin the area as a place to live, work and visit – to enjoy a fitness class, a great cup of coffee, some good food, or to stop and browse the studios and retail spaces – as it complements the wider development and offers a variety of lifestyle options and sense of community that today’s city centre residents look for.
Love Loan, once a tucked away lane near John Street and Martha Street, first appeared in the early 1800s as a home for cane and fancy chairmakers, Singer sewing machines, glass, paper and glue merchants, shopkeepers, coal dealers and cotton manufacturers. From 1930 to 1968, Strathclyde University took up residency before the lane disappeared from record. Chris Stewart Group’s ambition is to bring it back into public consciousness and open it up for all to enjoy.
Chris added: “Love Loan will deliver an exciting new way of living and enjoying Glasgow city centre. Our focus is on creating restful, stylish residences in an environment that has every amenity you might need – training and fitness facilities, superb food and drinks options, local businesses and artisan producers, as well as unmatched connectivity with public transport moments away, and a dedicated electric car club for residents.
“Glasgow has so much to offer and we’re really looking forward to delivering such an exciting project for the city.”