Signal Capital commences major Grade A refurbishment in Glasgow city centre

Signal Capital has announced commencement of a major programme of works to transform landmark building, 55 Douglas Street, in Glasgow city centre. Leading property advisors JLL and CBRE have been appointed as joint letting agents.

On completion in November 2019, 55 Douglas Street will deliver 85,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over six levels, with large virtually column-free floorplates ranging from 6,000 – 16,000 sq ft. The high quality renovation will address the shortage of Grade A accommodation available in Glasgow’s Central Business District (CBD) and will be one of the only significant self-contained refurbishment projects to complete this year.

Previously known as the Cerium Building, 55 Douglas Street is one of the most prominent office developments within the International Financial Services District (IFSD), occupying a highly-visible position on the corner of Douglas Street and Waterloo Street. Occupiers will benefit from being in close proximity to public transport links, the main retail thoroughfares and an abundance of amenities.

The Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund is committing £12 million from The Building Scotland Fund for the refurbishment which will include the addition of an impressive 10,000 sq ft extension, providing larger more regular floor plates, and a complete transformation of the front exterior with new double height entrance. The entire internal area will be refurbished to a modern standard with all mechanical and electrical installations comprehensively replaced and upgraded.

Gareth Richardson, director of asset management at Signal Capital, said: “The current lack of high-quality Grade A office space in Glasgow has given us the confidence to invest significantly in the 55 Douglas Street project.

“We have spent a great deal of time ensuring the refurbishment proposal and final specifications reflect the requirements of prospective tenants and I look forward to see the project progress as works get underway.”

Wellness facilities have been highly considered during the design process with the basement area planned to feature; 120 bike racks with cycle repair station, a studio area, changing and locker facilities in addition to a drying room, as well as high-powered showers and a convenient towel service for tenants. Twenty-four parking spaces, including four electrical vehicle charging points, and Amazon Lockers will also be available.

The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell, said: “I am pleased the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres Fund has been able to support the redevelopment of this key site in Glasgow city centre, using additional investment through the Building Scotland Fund. This commercial loan will contribute to providing much needed high quality office space in Glasgow, generating opportunities for businesses to create new jobs and encourage economic growth.”

Mike Buchan, lead director of JLL in Glasgow, commented: “The meticulous attention to detail and the level of investment made to the refurbishment of 55 Douglas Street is a testimony to Signal Capital’s commitment to addressing the lack of Grade-A space available in the city centre and I am confident that on completion 55 Douglas Street is going to spearhead the market.

“Its proximity to excellent road, rail and air links, coupled with efficient and flexible floorplates, has already attracted interest from potential occupiers with a requirement from early 2020 onwards which having just commenced works, is an exciting prospect.”

The building will feature high-quality materials and finishes throughout including a welcoming business lounge for tenants and visitors, glass wing speed lanes in the reception area, three passenger lifts and a 24/7 concierge and security service.

Alistair Urquhart, associate director at CBRE Glasgow, said: “The ambitious refurbishment project will re-instate 55 Douglas Street as a premier business address and we look forward to showcasing the proposals to the market. The efficient floorplates alongside our flexible rental packages will attract a high-calibre of tenants from a broad range of sectors.”

The project is being undertaken by a team including contractor Clark Contracts, architect Michael Laird Architects, M&E engineers Hulley & Kirkwood and structural engineers Etive Consulting.