Glasgow city centre building could be transformed into student accommodation

Offices above the Innis & Gunn taproom in Glasgow city centre could be turned into student accommodation under a new plan.

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Investment firm Abrdn, formerly Standard Life Aberdeen, has asked Glasgow City Council for permission to change the use of the West Nile Street building.

The company, acting on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Pension Fund, wants to provide 48 “student studios” in Finlay House.

Plans claim the “longer-term prospects for the building are not good as office space in the city is plentiful” and many people are working from home post-pandemic.

“Office floorspace has a significant challenge ahead and requires to find new viable uses to avoid significant vacancies in the city centre,” they add.

Abrdn’s application also states there is “a well-documented shortage of student accommodation in Glasgow”, which has been “acknowledged and recognised by the council”.

Finlay House has faced “challenging times” over the last 18 months, according to the application, with 50% of the floorspace vacant over this period.

“This proposal therefore seeks to redevelop the upper floors of the largely vacant office building to residential use for students at a location that is highly accessible,” planning documents add.

The ground floor and part of the basement of the property are “mainly occupied” by Innis & Gunn and Las Iguanas restaurant.

No alterations to the exterior of the building are planned. All the studios will be en-suite and have kitchens. The plans also reveal there will be a games room, lounge and private dining room as well as cycle parking.