Work is progressing on a £27.5 million project that sees the existing seventeen-story office building, St Andrew House, redeveloped into a Premier Inn Hotel.
The joint venture by Regent capital plc and ING is under the construction management of Mansell Construction Services Ltd, who are working alongside Ryder Architects.
St Andrew’s House in West Nile Street was built in the 1960s and is a prominent landmark within Glasgow city centre. Whitbread, who own the Premier Inn Hotel brand, is investing the money on the tower, which will be the company’s fourth budget hotel in Glasgow.
Work started on the decayed structure in October 2010 and the refurbished 210-bed hotel is intended to open in August 2012, creating about 50 jobs.
The contract involves the re-cladding of the outside of the two-storey retail podium, which will remain occupied throughout the project. Empty units on the second floor will be converted into a reception area and restaurant for hotel guests.
In April 2011 works to strip concrete cladding from the existing tower block were proceeding apace thanks to the addition of mastclimbers, which made short order of a prefabricated façade on the derelict office tower. This top-down stripping will turn the tower see-through for a brief spell.
The process will then see the concrete panels replaced with a unitised glazing system as the development approaches its 2012 completion date. A layering treatment will be adopted in the modern façade, which features irregular strips of recessed windows for vertical emphasis.
Callum Leslie, Mansell’s commercial director for Central Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have secured this contract, which highlights the company’s ability to secure high level projects in the Central Belt. St Andrew’s House has been a major feature of the Glasgow city centre skyline for almost five decades and we are looking forward to playing our role in renovating it. I am sure the building will play a key role in the area for many years to come.”
This contract is the first office-block-to-hotel conversion project in Scotland to benefit from the Business Premises Renovation Allowances Scheme – a government initiative to encourage the conversion and renovation of empty properties in key areas.
Whitbread bosses abandoned plans for a fourth Glasgow budget hotel two years ago because banks were not prepared to release funds due to the recession. However, the multi-million pound makeover was resurrected when Whitbread linked up with Dutch-based global financial company ING to agree a £42m package for nine new inns to be built across Scotland by the end of 2012. The West Nile Street project on St Andrew House is the largest and most expensive of these projects.
Britain’s biggest hotel and restaurant group also has Premier Inns in Argyle Street, George Square and Charing Cross. The latest work will add another major hotel to Glasgow’s increasing total. There are now 150 hotels, rating from two to five star, with a total capacity of more than 11,000 rooms.