Firm wins lead contractor role on Buchanan Street retail and residential scheme

Balfour Beatty has won a design and build contract to deliver Land Securities’ £70m Buchanan Street retail and residential project in Glasgow.

The 155,000ft2 development in the city centre is only the second major city centre retail development to go ahead since the financial downturn and is “progressing at pace” according to Land Securities, with site demolition almost completed.

Nick Davis, development director at Land Securities, said: “We are pleased to appoint Balfour Beatty as the lead contractor, given their strong track record of delivering high quality, complex projects in busy city centres. 

“This development is moving ahead rapidly and with already strong lettings will create a new prime pitch on Glasgow’s top retail street.

“As there is very little availability of well configured space in the right location, we are capitalising on this demand and will bring more national and international fashion brands to Buchanan Street in the coming months.”

Tim Clarke, Balfour Beatty’s divisional managing director for Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Land Securities as their partner to deliver this prestigious development in Glasgow city centre. The award will add a new dimension to our retail experience. We are committed to locally employing new apprentices and a significant number of new entrants to the construction industry.”

It is estimated that, at peak, more than 100 construction workers will be on site with specific recruitment and training being targeted for new entrant employment and apprenticeships.

The scheme is already over 68% pre let by income and 75% by space. The shops, cafés and restaurants are due to open by March 2013, so will be operational well before the start of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games in 2014. The 49-apartment residential element of the development is due for completion by autumn 2014.

See this week’s Building to hear from Land Securities’ head of retail development, Lester Hampson, on Tax Increment Financing (Tif) and Glasgow’s wider Buchanan Quarter development.