Land Securities appointed Culverwell in 2011 as joint letting agent on the development site at 185–221 Buchanan Street Glasgow, known as the Atlas Development, following their purchase of the site for £10m out of receivership.
The Atlas site comprised several traditional tenement blocks on Buchanan Street opposite Buchanan Galleries Shopping Centre and represented the last undeveloped site in the street. Land Securities and the agents recognised this was a unique site which presented an incredible opportunity to create modern retail units with residential apartments above. Historically the Zone A rate in this pitch was £170 per sq ft while the tone for prime Buchanan Street was £250 per sq ft. We advised our client that rental levels significantly ahead of the current tone were achievable given the design, location and demand.
Culverwell provided advice to the architects at design meetings to ensure plans and specifications were in line with retailer requirements. Most units on Buchanan Street are Listed and have compromised layouts with unusable upper floors. These new units would be unique with rectangular layouts and double-height shop fronts.
62ksq ft anchor and first Forever 21 in Scotland
A bespoke presenter was designed and used to market the development. Following initial lettings on the larger stores to Forever 21 (the first in Scotland), Paperchase and Gap, the smaller units were marketed and let successfully to Vans, Fat Face, Skechers, Office and Watches of Switzerland. Record rents reflecting £225 per sq ft Zone A were achieved and the development completed in 2013 100% pre-let.
We worked very closely with Land Securities and the rest of the team throughout this project allowing us to deliver the best tenant mix and maximise rental value. Completion of the development has directly helped increase footfall in this section of Buchanan Street and has also seen footfall in Land Securities Buchanan Galleries Shopping Centre opposite increase 11%. This landmark development has helped strengthen Glasgow's reputation as one of the UK's premier retail destinations and significantly enhances the city centre shopping experience.