£300m plan progresses in Glasgow’s Merchant City

The £300 million transformation of Candleriggs Square in Glasgow’s Merchant City is continuing at pace following the completion of the second major building on the site — a 346-homes build-to-rent scheme forward funded by Legal & General (L&G).

Main contractor Graham Construction has delivered the practical completion of the £81.5 million scheme, allowing L&G to progress with the internal fit-out of the building before the first residents move in later this summer.

Developed by a joint venture between Drum Property Group and Stamford Investments, the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site is regarded as the last and most important piece of Glasgow’s Merchant City regeneration.

The square welcomed the opening of Scotland’s largest hotel by room numbers, the 494-room Social Hub Glasgow, in April this year.

Designed to meet the increasing demand for city centre rental accommodation in Scotland, the 325,000 sq. ft L&G scheme provides 346 apartments together with a range of retail and commercial units at ground floor level.

An entrance lobby opens onto Glasgow’s Trongate, providing direct access to a communal landscaped courtyard at the first-floor level, while a range of roof terraces provide views across the city.

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director of Drum Property Group, said: “Candleriggs Square is now starting to come alive, fulfilling the the development vision we outlined when we first took ownership of the site in 2019. With the completion of the L&G apartments and the opening of The Social Hub Glasgow, we are seeing this vital part of the city centre, which had lain dormant for more than 20 years, take shape in spectacular fashion.

“Candleriggs Square has always been at the centre of Glasgow’s commercial and social development, and this completion will be a huge boost to the area and to local businesses. We can now positively look forward to bringing back to life a very special area which has always been at the centre of Glasgow’s commercial and social development.”

Dan Batterton, Head of Residential at Legal & General Investment, added: “We are delighted to reach completion of at Candleriggs Square, bringing a new community to the heart of the Merchant City. Helping to meet Glasgow’s increasing demand for high-quality rental housing, the site offers a well-designed, flexible living space integrated within the broader regeneration of the city centre.

“We look forward to welcoming our first residents in the coming months. Having launched our Build to Rent strategy in 2016, we have since deployed over £3 billion of institutional capital into the sector and expanded our portfolio to 24 schemes across 13 cities – we’ve been on a rapid trajectory of growth and look forward to continuing with this as precedent.”

The 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site — bound by Wilson Street, Hutcheson Street, Candleriggs and Trongate — was originally home to Glasgow’s fruit and vegetable market.

For most of the 20th century, the square played host to a department store before remaining unoccupied and derelict for more than two decades, following the closure of the last operator in 1999.