Buchanan Galleries plans: timeline, planned changes, and how to get involved

There are exciting plans for the Buchanan Galleries site.

The popular Glasgow shopping centre might be just a couple of decades old, but owners Landsec are planning on demolishing it and creating something completely new for the area.

The new development would be made up of residential, business and commercial units, with more green and public space created.

It also aims to make the area more accessible, making the site easier to move around.

Here’s everything you need to know about the plans.

What’s the timeline for the Buchanan Galleries development?

Landsec has just started the second phase of the consultation process, engaging with the public and using the responses to shape the final plans for the development.

Another look at the Buchanan Galleries plans.

A final consultation phase would then be held over winter, before the planning applications are submitted for council approval in early 2023.

The hope is that the masterplan will be approved around May 2023, allowing demolition and the first phase of construction works to go ahead in 2024.

This should be completed in 2027.

It is not yet known when the later phases will start, but, overall, it’s expected to take over a decade for the new development to be completed.

What changes are being made - and why?

Quite simply, the way people shop has changed.

There have been big changes in the last decade, as people do more of their shopping online - and these changes have been exacerbated by Covid-19.

The new Buchanan Galleries site will be more open, more green, and more alive.

The most noticeable change will be that the existing building will be demolished and broken up into smaller blocks, allowing people to move around them.

At the moment, trying to get from the top of Buchanan Street to the bus station is a hassle, while the North Hanover Street and Killermont Street sides of the shopping centre are not really in use.

The new development will make it easier for people to get between Queen Street train station, Buchanan Bus Station and Buchanan Street subway station.

The existing plans would see up to 350 homes created, as well as 250,000ft2 of retail, leisure, hospitality and cultural space, and 1,300,000ft2 of office space.

As well as green space, there will be public space for people to come together.

The main centrepiece of this will be a large public open space to the rear of Queen Street train station.

What would phase 1 include?

The first phase of the development, which could start in 2024, would see the construction of blocks A and B, on the site between Buchanan Street and Queen Street train station.

It would be a mix of retail and office space, providing ‘flexible workspaces’ for tenants.

There are also plans for a block K, on the site currently occupied by the car park. This would be used as office space, and help connect the train station with the bus station.

How will it be sustainable?

Landsec want the new development to be net zero, aiming to achieve this through using low carbon technologies and promoting the use of walking, cycling and public transport.

It also hopes to make the most of solar power, thermal cooling and rainfall.

One of the sketches of what the Buchanan Galleries development could look like.

There would also be a ‘greening’ process in the areas around the buildings.

On top of this, the building’s basement and foundations could be reused, while materials could be recycled to be used in later phases of development or made available in the reclamation market.

Why can’t the existing building be converted?

According to the consultation documents, extensive analysis of the site was carried out to see if the existing building could be adapted for residential and office use, as well as retail.

However, the ‘broad depth of the building means that it cannot be converted to provide an acceptable standard of residential or other living accommodation’.

For offices, much of the building would have to be demolished to create a suitable layout.

What will happen to the Royal Concert Halls and the steps?

The consultation documents describe the steps - a popular public gathering space, especially for protests - as an ‘accessibility challenge’, blocking the extension of Sauchiehall Street.

A new entrance arrangement could be created to the building, however, no decisions have been made yet.

The second stage of consultation has started.

A ground-floor level entrance could be built, which could improve access to the Royal Concert Halls and create more space for gatherings.

How do I get involved?

If you want to take part in the consultation, check out the site HERE.