ONE of Glasgow's most iconic office buildings has been sold and is to be relaunched as a city centre hotel.

The Pearl Assurance Building, on the corner of West George Street and Renfield Street, is to be transformed into a 90-bedroomed Park Inn.

The buy-out price has not been disclosed but bids of more than £4.75million had been invited.

The deal comes less than a year after the city's only Park Inn, in Port Dundas Street, next to Buchanan Bus Station, closed ahead of a major upgrade into a new hub offering student accommodation.

It had formerly been Langs.

Work on the new Park Inn was already under way when the previous owner went into administration.

The building has now been bought from West George Street Properties LLP by Hotel Land & Development (Glasgow) Limited, which was responsible for the Park Inn development in Manchester.

The previous owner of the Glasgow building had already started work on transforming it into a hotel and that work will continue.

Keith McBain, associate director of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which provides hotel investment, advisory and asset management services and completed the sale on behalf of joint administrators Blair Nimmo and Gerard Friar, said: "The sale of this property is great news.

"We understand the developer will be continuing with the comprehensive refurbishment of the hotel element to form a 90-plus guest room Park Inn.

"And we also understand an agreement to let the former Zizzi bar restaurant unit to a leading restaurant company has also been agreed."

No opening date has been set for Glasgow's hotel, but it is another twist to a chequered history of what was regarded as one of the city's most opulent office buildings after Pearl Assurance decorated it with marble fittings and an expensive art collection.

The city centre block has had a series of owners since Pearl announced four years ago that its Glasgow office was being moved to Birmingham after the company's £3.6billion takeover of rival Resolution Life.

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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