£81.5m deal agreed for 346-apartment BTR scheme in Glasgow

CANDLERIGGS Development 2 Limited, a joint venture between Drum Property Group and Stamford Property Investments, has agreed an £81.5 million deal with Legal & General to deliver a 346-apartment Build-to-Rent (BTR) scheme in Glasgow.

The move has been described as marking the next significant step of the regeneration of the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site in the city’s Merchant City area.

Approval was granted for a Planning Application in Principle for the entire site by Glasgow City Council in May 2020, including a detailed application for a 500-room hotel complex owned and operated by the Student Hotel Group. Construction of the hotel will begin in early 2021.

Legal & General will forward fund Candleriggs Development 2 to deliver the apartment complex, which is said to be designed to meet growing demand for ‘affordable and high-quality’ rental accommodation. The joint venture company has now submitted a detailed planning application to the council to develop the residential complex.

As well as the 346 apartments, the 17-storey 325,000 sq. ft. building will include retail and commercial units at ground floor level. An entrance lobby will open onto Glasgow’s Trongate, giving direct access to a communal landscaped courtyard at the first-floor level, while a range of roof terraces will provide views across the city.

Drum and Stamford’s joint venture first launched the £300 million plan to transform Candleriggs Square when the site was bought in March 2019. Plans included a mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and local amenities, together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways with a new public square at its heart.

Graeme Bone, MD of Drum Property Group, said, “The L&G deal is testament to the unwavering commitment and confidence we have placed in both the Candleriggs Square site and Glasgow city centre during these most testing of times. It represents a significant step forward in the long-awaited regeneration of one Glasgow’s most prominent gap sites, driving forward the evolution of Candleriggs Square which has quickly established itself as one of Scotland’s largest and most important commercial and residential development sites.

“This will be a huge boost to the area and to local businesses, who are in desperate need of some good news right now. We can now look forward to a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform a very special area which has always been at the centre of Glasgow’s commercial and social development.”

Dan Batterton, head of BTR at LGIM Real Assets, added, “Glasgow faces a significant undersupply of high-quality rental accommodation and, within the coming decade, will see its population increase as it continues to establish itself as one of the UK’s best cities in which to live and work. The site is located in a prime location and, alongside Legal & General’s Buchanan Wharf scheme, is the city’s only high-density build to rent product.

“Through our BTR Fund we want to create the best possible experience for renters, providing high-speed digital connectivity, dedicated workspace and exercise facilities, all of which are essential in a post-Covid world.”