‘Mission critical’ Morgan Stanley Glasgow hub goes up for sale

Glasgow’s 122 Waterloo Street has been put up for sale by its owner – a client of Knight Frank Investment Management – in what could be one of the biggest deals in the city’s office market during 2024.

Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield have been jointly appointed to market the prime office premises which is solely occupied by Morgan Stanley and comprises its largest European office outside of London, with ‘mission critical’ status for its global operations and more than 2,000 staff working at the site. The ground floor also hosts a gym and fitness centre operated by Nuffield Health.

The nine-storey property consists of 156,980 sq. ft. of Grade A office space and is among the city’s most sustainable properties, achieving an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) A rating and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification.

Opened in 2018, 122 Waterloo Street was recognised as Scotland’s ‘top corporate workplace’ in the 2020 British Council for Offices (BCO) awards for features including ergonomic breakout areas, collaboration and meditation spaces, an in-house restaurant, and on-site wellbeing facilities.

John Rae, head of office at Knight Frank Glasgow, said: “122 Waterloo Street is a prime asset located at the heart of Glasgow’s International Financial Services District, backed by a very strong covenant in Morgan Stanley – particularly given its ‘mission critical’ status. Glasgow has seen an upturn in deal activity in the first few months of 2024, so we expect to see a good level of interest, with buyer and vendor expectations moving closer together as interest rates appear likely to stay higher for longer.”

Murray Strang, managing partner for Scotland at Cushman & Wakefield, added: “In terms of building quality, tenant covenant and resultant income security, not to mention the strong opportunity for rental reversion and future potential for value uplift, this opportunity should be highly attractive for a range of international investors and parties considering investment into a leading, regional UK office market.”