Developers banking on £15m Clydeside plan

A MULTI-million pound office development planned for the banks of the Clyde will be the focal point of a major marketing campaign to bring hundreds of new jobs to Glasgow's East End.

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It is hoped the planned development will bring hundreds of jobs to the East End An artist's impression gives an idea of how the planned office pavilions would look
It is hoped the planned development will bring hundreds of jobs to the East End An artist's impression gives an idea of how the planned office pavilions would look

The nationwide search for employers will be launched next year as attempts are made to obtain speculative funding to enable building work to begin.

Four pavilions on land at Newhall Street, Bridgeton, are seen as the commercial spark needed to ignite an area which has been neglected for years.

They will be landmark buildings at a prominent location which is bounded by the river on its southern edge, Glasgow Green to the west and the historic Rutherglen Bridge to the east.

Gordon Murray, of city-based GMA/Ryder Architects, said: "The proposed design is to arrange a series of north-south oriented pavilions along the southern edge of the site.

"These would be interspersed with landscaped courtyards facing the Clyde.

"Parking would be located to the north and west of the site."

The triangular site spans more than three acres. It once housed tenements, but they were demolished 50 years ago.

Makeshift businesses took their place but the land is now derelict after an occupied factory was demolished in May last year following a fire.

Half the site is owned by Glasgow-based Zed Developments, while the remainder is currently being transferred from Glasgow City Council to the Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company.

Council chiefs are enforcing compulsory purchase orders for around 700sq m of land as part of a tidying-up exercise.

Nine small plots are being taken into council ownership. One plot is just a meter square.

A council spokesman said: "This could prove to be a successful site for an office development, attracting construction and office jobs to the East End.

"In such a case, the council will do what it can to enable the development of the site."

Zed Developments wants to build four, three-storey pavilions, which will look out on to the river, with parking for 150 cars.

The economic climate has made it difficult for developers to acquire the cash needed for speculative commercial projects, so the pavilions will be built only if tenants sign up to scheme.

However, Zed director William Drummond, said attempts were being made to trigger "a speculative first stage" – the construction of just one building to tempt would-be tenants.

Mr Drummond said the cost of building the entire development was expected to be around £15m.

He added: "Site clearance will begin imminently.

"We then plan to aggressively market the site, probably throughout Scotland, while we expect the compulsory purchase orders process to take up to six months."

Zed Developments has been working closely with regeneration chiefs at Clyde Gateway as part of their long-term remit to bring jobs to the investment-starved East End.

Ian Manson, chief executive of Clyde Gateway, welcomed the development.

He said: "The whole look and feel to the East End is changing thanks to millions of pounds being spent on new infrastructure, on facilities associated with the 2014 Games and on new offices and factories such as those Clyde Gateway has delivered in Bridgeton and out at the Fullarton junction of the M74.

"It is essential for the private sector to get heavily involved with all the regeneration activities presently under way and that's why I'm delighted to give my support to these exciting proposals being brought forward by Zed Developments."

Mr Manson readily acknowledges it will be an eye-catching scheme.

He said: "This is a prime site on the banks of the Clyde, located on the main route into the area from the M74. A development of this scale and quality is a further sign of just how much confidence and belief there is in Clyde Gateway being a fantastic location in which to do business."

In September this year plans were announced to build a pedestrian bridge over the River Clyde.

The bridge will link Dalmarnock, in Glasgow, to Shawfield, in South Lanarkshire. The 88m long bridge is expected to half the walking time between Dalmarnock train station and Shawfield to less than 10 minutes.

It will also involve the realignment of the Clyde walkway and is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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