Property editor of the NZ Herald

Look inside ex-council tower becoming apartments

How it could look: Auckland's skyline viewed from an apartment, proposed to be developed inside the ex-Auckland Council building on Aotea Square.
How it could look: Auckland's skyline viewed from an apartment, proposed to be developed inside the ex-Auckland Council building on Aotea Square.

It's a radical transformation: from protected heritage ex-Auckland Council's headquarters into new apartments.

The first visuals have been released showing how the conversion of Auckland's Civic Administration Building from council offices into residential units could look when the job is completed. Building work is yet to begin.

Large open balcony areas, with glass sliding doors pushed back, reveal wide vistas across Auckland's skyline. A new cladding will be applied and internal 'loggia' decks created in areas where there is not external deck.

John Love of developer Love & Co says units inside the existing building will be priced from $600,000 up to $14 million and about 100 apartments will be built inside the tower block. A display suit has opened in the ground floor of the block, 1 Grey's Ave, from 10am-5pm daily.

In 2014, the council gradually left the block for 135 Albert St where it has new headquarters.

That left the existing building empty.

Around 2012, the then-council chief executive, Doug McKay, said the $93m cost of refurbishing the block for the 450 staff in it was not economic. Demolition was an option, he said.

Real estate specialists JLL investigated new uses for the block in 2014. Options for the block included retail, leisure, arts and education purposes, JLL said at the time.

Chris Darby, an Auckland councillor and its planning committee chairman, said this week he had feared the block would be knocked down and was pleased it would have a new residential use.

"Over the last three years, I have been pretty dogged in seeing the building protected from demolition. At times, it was touch and go as a solid group of councillors saw no value in retaining and restoring it," Darby said.

"That blinkered view has been disproved by the Category 1 protection confirmed through the Unitary Plan and after going to the market to explore innovative ways of restoring and reigniting life in the building. We discovered Love & Co in that process. The building will continue to stand tall."

The existing Civic Administration Building: before work begins. Photo/Richard Robinson
The existing Civic Administration Building: before work begins. Photo/Richard Robinson

The block has 14,300sq m of floor space. It was originally opened in1966 and has three basement levels and 18 above-ground levels. Each floor is relatively small for an office block these days: just 453sq m of gross floor area per floor shaped as rectangular floor plates.

- NZ Herald

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