PBSA development plan for former Glasgow newspaper office

The building that previously served as a base for the Herald/Glasgow Times could be demolished to make way for a major purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development.

Student housing plans emerge at former Glasgow newspaper office | PBSA News
Student housing plans emerge at former Glasgow newspaper office.

Property developer MRP has shared a first glimpse of its plans to develop 200 Renfield Street. It was a former Glasgow newspaper office site that hosted the Herald/Glasgow Times. The company purchased the 53,000 sq ft office building back in 2021.

MRP wants to replace the existing building with multi-storey blocks complete with collonaded walkways combining retail, commercial and hospitality uses. Additionally, there are plans for an Arts Square for pop-up markets, cinema screenings and events.

Planning permission was also given for student accommodation on the final vacant Broadway plot earlier this month, expanding Glasgow’s PBSA sector.

The planned site is part of the Broadway business area which has been developed on the old STV studios site.

“200 Renfield Street sits at a transition point in the urban pattern of Glasgow, where the gridded block pattern of the Victorian city centre changes to the modernist planning of the Townhead and Cowcaddens area, with Cowcaddens Road acting as a divide between the two.

“The site has fantastic potential to act as a gateway between the town centre to the south, and the revitalised Port Dundas and Townhead neighbourhoods to the north, as part of the wider Glasgow City Council policy to increase the urban population of the city centre over the next 20 years.

“The scale of the immediate surroundings of 200 Renfield Street has evolved since the existing building was completed. The Cineworld complex, Tesco Bank, Maldron and Citizen M Hotels provide a context of significantly greater scale that new proposals must address.

“Additionally, there is an evident trend of new developments emerging in Glasgow being of a greater height and density than traditional buildings. This is especially evident when considering recently approved and submitted planning applications for the surrounding area.

Ryder achitects
200 Renfield Street proposal | PBSA News
200 Renfield Street proposal.

The developer hopes to submit a planning application in August. Construction is not expected to get underway until 2025 at the earliest.

MRP’s development portfolio has a total end value of £2bn – of which £300m is currently under construction.

Between MRP and McAleer & Rushe, they have delivered in excess of 11,500 PBSA beds since entering the sector some eight years ago. They are considered one of the UK & Ireland’s leading student accommodation sector participants.

In January, MRP announced the launch of its new PBSA scheme The Place in Nottingham. The scheme will advance Nottingham City Council’s strategy of integrating students into the city centre.

Joe is Associate Editor at PBSA News and Rental Living News UAE. He is a senior, MA qualified, content expert, copywriter, journalist and social media specialist with extensive experience working across business and media outlets.