A PLAN to demolish Buchanan Galleries is under way to pave the way for a massive transformation of the top of Glasgow’s famous shopping street.

The proposal is to “replace” the shopping mall with a multi-purpose shopping, residential and office quarter.

It would see new public squares created, new streets with street-level entry to shops and Buchanan Street opened up through to Killermont Street and Buchanan Bus Station.

The Royal Concert Hall would not be affected by any plan.

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The developer, Landsec, the Buchanan Galleries owners, is in talks with the council for the huge redevelopment of the Galleries into a “new master-planned mixed-use quarter”.

It will also see work to cover the railway at Queen Street Station beside the current car park and include Dundas Street.

To deliver the proposed “physical reconfiguration of Buchanan Galleries” with other uses and create a “new streetscape” based on the wider city centre "grid network" it will need to involve demolition of the mall, to allow the transformation.

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Work could start next year on a 10-year project, which is still at a concept stage, which would be the most significant development in the city centre since Buchanan Galleries was opened in 1999.

The idea is to create a plan that responds to the climate emergency and addresses the changing shopping habits exacerbated by the pandemic.

The news comes after the Glasgow Times revealed this week that Marks & Spencer is to move out of its Sauchiehall Street store after almost 100 years.

There are several empty units in Buchanan Galleries and on the street, with Top Shop, Burton, Gap and Paperchase all leaving large voids.

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Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:


Rather than pulling out of Glasgow, however, the owners say they are planning for the future and the transformation could see more than 850 construction jobs created each year during the build phase leading to more than 9,500 permanent jobs for the city centre.

Shops will form part of the new plan and discussions with major retailers in the centre, like John Lewis, will take place.

Glasgow City Council, which owns the land on which Buchanan Galleries sits, must agree to any development proposal.

It said the plan fits with the council’s agenda of moving away from single use areas, like retail-only. to multi-use, of retail, residential, leisure and office.

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Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

David Heaford, managing director, development, at Landsec, said: “Cities around the world are learning to adapt to the public’s changing habits and we want to help Glasgow to be well-positioned to do the same.

“Our vision is to replace the existing shopping centre with an exciting new mixed-use urban neighbourhood in the heart of Glasgow city centre, blending world-class shopping with places to work, live and play.

“Our plans will seek to extend the city’s iconic and accessible grid layout, support the city’s net-zero ambitions and be informed by the needs and views of local people, visitors and businesses.

“We will be launching a wide-ranging consultation, kicking off in the spring, to help create a place that makes a lasting positive contribution to the city and all those who live, work and visit here.”

The council said the proposals “reflect changes in retailing, exacerbated and accelerated by the pandemic, and other city centre impacts and trends”.

It is hoped that by acting now a transformation of the top of Buchanan Street will deliver a re-purposed and sustainable city centre.

It is believed while the pandemic’s impact has been severe on all urban centres with a general swing at the present time towards smaller town centres and local areas, Glasgow city centre is still an attractive location for investment.

Any comprehensive redevelopment of the Galleries would require the approval of the council as head landlord.

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Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Landsec’s aspirations for Glasgow and their proven track record in delivering high-quality mixed-use developments would be transformational at this incredibly challenging time.

"As a valued long-term investor in the city, we look forward to them bringing forward innovative plans that could position Glasgow in the vanguard of covid recovery. The scale of ambition of this private sector investment should be welcomed with open arms.”


Glasgow Times:

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow, like town and city centres everywhere, is facing significant and accelerating structural changes.

“These initial proposals detail a response to those changes, ensuring Glasgow has a vibrant, successful and evolving city centre which continues to be the envy of our peers. 

“Approval for the commencement of negotiations with Landsec would allow us to push ahead with addressing oncoming challenges and opportunities in this rapidly changing world.

“A 21st century city centre delivering on Glasgow’s international standing and ambitions means more mixed-use developments, a greater residential population, more public spaces, sustainable transport options and more people-focused streets.

“The transformation of the Buchanan Galleries can be a vote of confidence on Glasgow’s future.”