Watercare Services is the anchor tenant in Newmarket's first green-star office building, which already has tenants signed up for more than half of its space nearly a year before completion.
Watercare has entered into an agreement to occupy 5600sq m of space in the Nuffield Corporate Centre being constructed by Mansons TCLM at 73 Remuera Road, Newmarket.
The organisation will relocate about 460 staff from two buildings in Newmarket and East Tamaki to the five-star green-rated building due for completion in December.
Paul Hain of Bayleys Real Estate, who negotiated the lease with colleague Steve Orr of Bayleys Auckland, says the sustainability features and the low energy costs incorporated into the design were important considerations in Watercare's decision to lease the building.
"Its high seismic rating was a significant factor as well from a risk-management point of view, given that Watercare is an essential service provider."
Watercare Services, which is responsible for providing water and wastewater services to the entire Auckland region, will lease the top two floors and part of Level 2 of the 12,796sq m building for 12 years, with rights of renewal. Watercare Services will also be provided with 185 basement car parks and naming rights on the building. Hain says Mansons will take over Watercare's unexpired lease and "make good" obligations in its current premises in Nuffield Street, Newmarket, and East Tamaki which means Watercare Services will not face any further outlays once it has vacated those buildings.
He says only one full floor now remains for lease in the Nuffield Corporate Centre: Level One, which is the largest at 2958sq m. The balance of space that Watercare Services is not occupying on Level 2 - totalling 1430sq m - is also available with 940sq m on the ground floor.
Hain says this is the first green-star office building to be developed in Newmarket and has generated significant tenant interest. "Being the most active developer of top-end office space in the market at present, Mansons is well attuned to what larger tenants want," he said.
"In addition to green-star ratings or sustainability features, the checklist generally also includes big floor footprints of at least 1500sq m with inter-floor connectivity, bullet-proof earthquake ratings to a minimum of 100 per cent of new building standard and high floor-to-ceiling heights. This building has big floor areas in excess of 2000sq m and a stud height of three metres with floor-to-ceiling glass on all sides ensuring high levels of natural light penetration."
Hain says another attraction of the Remuera Rd building is its ample car parking, with three basement levels providing spaces for more than 300 cars, and its proximity to good public transport and in particular the Newmarket train station. The building will also have a secure bicycle park for 42 bikes, changing rooms, showers and locker facilities, an on-site cafe in the ground-floor lobby and a gymnasium.
In another recently concluded lease in the same building, negotiated by John Halstead of Bayleys Auckland, Avanti Finance will occupy 1200sq m of space on the ground floor, also on a 12-year lease with a six-year right of renewal and stepped rent rises of 3 per cent per annum.
"Avanti is in expansion mode and wants to be positioned in premises that will enhance the profile and growth of their operations," says Halstead. "The Newmarket building and location presents a good opportunity to future proof their business."
Avanti Finance is a privately owned New Zealand company established in 1990. It specialises in personal finance products including car loans, home owner finance, debt consolidation and short-term loans, and has a nationwide presence.
Culum Manson, director of Mansons TCLM, says there is a shortage of good-quality office buildings in Newmarket and the Nuffield Corporate Centre is being developed to fill that gap.
"Given its central location and closeness to New Zealand's premier retail strip of Broadway and the Domain, Newmarket is an attractive place to base a business but much of the office space is in dated buildings with small floor areas," he said.
"We were sufficiently confident there would be good demand for a building of this quality and size in Newmarket to build it on 'spec' and we have been delighted with the strong market response."