NEW images reveal ambitious plans to revitalise the former Watt Brothers building in the city's Sauchiehall Street by turning it into a boutique hotel have been unveiled.

The blueprint for the future of the retail store has been laid out in a planning application to Glasgow City Council this week.

It comes after it was previously revealed that Greenock businessmen Sandy and James Easdale snapped up the landmark building two years ago with the promise of turning it into a £20m hotel.

Glasgow Times:

Now the official plans show they want to retain part of the retail store using the basement, ground and mezzanine levels of the north building.

They also want to create a new hotel using the remainder of the building including the basement and ground floors of the south building, and the upper floors of both.

Finally, the plans, if approved, would see additional floors in both buildings to achieve the appropriate amount of bedrooms. The plans state "125 bedrooms would have been an ideal offer".

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

The building was first constructed in 1914 as a department store for Watt Brothers and later extended with the addition of a new building on Bath Street in 1929. The third building on Sauchiehall Lane was added to the ownership in the 1980s.

The well-known Glasgow landmark, on the corner of Bath Street and Sauchiehall Street, has been vacant since Watt Brothers fell into administration in 2019.

Stretching to more than 80,000 sq. ft, the McGill’s Buses tycoons reached a deal to save the art deco building with Watt Brothers’ administrators, KPMG.

The Easdales’ architect, Douglas McConville of Silverfern Consultancy, has created a scheme which they say saves and dramatically enhances the architecturally significant listed building.

A planning statement said: "The key to delivering these proposals is securing an appropriate, high-end hotel operator.

"A budget hotel operation cannot create a financial model capable of making these proposals "stack up".

"The personnel at Silverfern Consultancy have a long history acting developers and operators at the high end of the market and have carried out initial discussions with a number of established operators."

It adds: "Achieving the critical mass of bedroom spaces is crucial in making such a proposal viable, with construction costs of altering and extending a listed building in a city centre location being very high."

Glasgow Times:

Sandy Easdale said: “We wanted a classy design that would maximise the use of the huge site but would not compromise the unique character of the original building.”

James Easdale added: “We are also acutely aware of the strategic shortage of hotel room supply in Glasgow and we feel this is a stepping stone on the way to restoring Glasgow to the great shopping and leisure centres like Edinburgh and other great English cities.”

Both brothers hope that other UK property entrepreneurs will see the enormous opportunities there are on offer in Glasgow and follow the Easdales’ lead.

Sandy added: “Glasgow may have temporarily lost some of its glamour, but the energy of Glasgow folk remains undiminished and the younger generation both here and in Europe love the vibrancy of the place.

“The building benefits from brilliant art deco features and this will play a part in its rejuvenation.”

Currently, the brothers have £750million worth of projects in the UK and are spending considerably more time in their London offices assessing opportunities.

James said: “Despite the two-year hiatus of the pandemic, Sandy and I have always taken the view that opportunity can come from adversity. We are very optimistic that the economy will bounce back in due course. Whilst our transport businesses which include McGill’s Buses remain hugely important to us, property and construction investment opportunities in England and Scotland are constantly presenting themselves.”