Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Iwi arm pays well over CV for block

Brett Russell’s  Dominion Constructors built  Aecom House. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Brett Russell’s Dominion Constructors built Aecom House. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa has paid slightly under $70 million for a new Auckland office block with a council valuation of $35.5 million and new entrant Richlister Brett Russell appears to be the benefactor.

In the biggest single commercial deal by the Auckland iwi, Russell's Harbour 5 sold the eight-level 5-star green rated AECOM House at 8 Mahuhu Cres to Ngati Whatua's commercial arm for a sum thought to be close to $70 million, making that one of this year's biggest deals. Yet the property's capital value is listed on Auckland Council's web site as $35.5 million and dated to July 1, 2011.

Ngarimu Blair, a director of Whai Rawa which owns the land and leased it to Russell of Dominion Constructors which built the block, said the building was a strategic asset.

"We are confident in Quay Park's future as a key precinct within the Auckland CBD and we believe the acquisition of this building further reinforces our commitment to this area. This asset is our first step towards diversifying Ngati Whatua Orakei's commercial property portfolio away from either residential landholdings or ground lessors' interests, and will provide a positive cash flow impact for our balance sheet."

The sale was brokered by Colliers International's Peter Herdson and Andrew Reed and CBRE's Brent McGregor and Jonathan Ogg. The building has 12,992sq m of office space, was completed last February and produces $5.4 million in annual rent.

- NZ Herald

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