MCR Property Group begins £6m refurb at second Glasgow office
A Manchester property developer has acquired its second multi-let business complex in Scotland as it continues its drive to expand rapidly north of the border.
MCR Property Group is investing £6 million in the Pentagon Business Centre, to create a modern, comfortable home for well over a hundred businesses. The firm has chosen to retain all staff in place and created ten additional job roles.
The historic six-storey building at 36 Washington Street overlooks the River Clyde and sits at the heart of Glasgow’s financial district. It was constructed over 120 years ago as a whisky bond, a type of bonded warehouse where the bottles were stored before duty was paid. MCR is modernising the building with high-quality fittings, and positive results are already apparent with the building’s occupancy increasing by 18%.
The acquisition is part of MCR’s ambition to purchase over 100 commercial and industrial properties over the next three years, including development sites. Investments will typically range from £1m to £10m, though higher valuations will be considered.
MCR is already very active in Scotland and, in the last 24 months, has completed Centrum, which houses 50,000 sq ft of refurbished industrial units in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, as well as Embankment West, a residential development of 165 apartments in Edinburgh.
Nick Lake, asset manager at MCR Property Group, said: “We have a strong conviction that these multi-use business centres will continue to perform well post-pandemic, even though changes to the world of work are yet to come fully into view.
“There is undoubtedly going to be a shift towards working from home, that much is obvious. However, what is likely to become more pronounced as the dust settles is how the freedom to visit an office less frequently will change the nature of the premises that companies favour.
“Sometimes that’s going to be satellite bases outside of urban centres like the Merlin Business Centre. In other instances, companies with greater geographical spread of employees or, perhaps, younger workforces will continue to want tailored, flexible solutions close to the action.
“The Pentagon Business Centre is a prime example of just such a development, providing a base for firms close to the commercial and cultural life of the city, and giving them a chance to be part of a very cosmopolitan business community.
“It is large private offices dedicated to big workforces that will be less in vogue going forward, with many employers no longer requiring their staff to be present full time and en masse.”