University campus goes up for sale

Emma Woollacott
The Davod Stow building.
The Davod Stow building.

A university campus in Glasgow has gone on sale, in what's likely to be Scotland's biggest property development deal this year.

The 31-acre Jordanhill site is set in a mainly residential area in the heart of the city's West End. The University of Strathclyde moved out three years ago, leaving the three-storey David Stow building, built in 1922, empty.

The agents, JLL, say that the Category B-listed building could be converted into 71 flats, which would have fantastic views over the city.

Another 23 apartments could be created in each of two other buildings on the site, Graham House and Douglas House. The rest of the buildings on the site, built in the 1960s, would be demolished, and around 250 new houses built.

"This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for developers. Jordanhill Campus occupies a prime location in Glasgow and its elevated position offers exceptional views over the city," says Nina Stobie, associate director of JLL.

"We expect interest in the site to be extremely high and not just limited to Scotland. Once transformed, it will be home to some of the most sought-after accommodation in the country."

The site has Minded to Grant Planning Permission in Principle for residential development, and the university has worked closely with both Historic Scotland and Glasgow City Council on the project.

The new properties would be highly desirable: the West End is regarded as Glasgow's main cultural hub and is home to Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Kelvingrove Park, The Botanic Gardens as well as music venues The Hydro and the SECC. The Scotstoun Sports Campus, which houses Scotstoun Stadium, is nearby.

And, thanks to several highly-regarded schools, the area's in high demand from families. There are good road links and two train stations – Jordanhill and Anniesland – within walking distance, both taking commuters into Glasgow Central station or Glasgow Queen Street in ten minutes.

There has been some controversy over the council's approval of change of use, with objectors pointing to the fact that the land was designated a Site of Special Landscape Importance by the council itself. Local residents are likely to be critical of the plan.

"The University have not recently been good neighbours to the local populace. I think it was a case of 'out of sight out of mind' until they came up with the sale plan. Then when we see the proposals for more than 360 homes, I have no confidence in how it will all be developed," Bill Kidd, SNP MSP for Glasgow Anniesland, tells the National.

"It's a densely populated area already, so there are bound to be objections to the scale of the development. I am determined to ensure that the local community will be consulted at every stage – already this afternoon I have had constituents on to me trying to find out what's going on."

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