Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Leasehold land rents not settled

Aecom has taken up a nine-year lease in Brett Russell's new office block. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Aecom has taken up a nine-year lease in Brett Russell's new office block. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Leasehold land rents are yet to be struck on two big Quay Park blocks near Auckland's waterfront.

Developer Brett Russell, who has just finished the $57 million Aecom House, opened by Prime Minister John Key on Friday, said negotiations on the freehold value of the land under his building were in the realm of $2000/sq m to $2500/sq m a year and 6 per cent of that could result in an annual leasehold bill of up to $362,850.

But nothing was settled.

Settlement is also yet to be reached over leasehold payments at the neighbouring Quba Apartments between Beach Rd and Tangihua St.

Quba stands on a 7000sq m site, which could have an annual leasehold bill of up to $1.05 million if the valuation was $2500/sq m.

Russell's new seven-level office building at 8 Mahuhu Cres stands on a 2419sq m site owned by Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa.

Russell heads one of the city's most active construction businesses, the family-owned Dominion Constructors, and is represented in the leasehold negotiations by specialist RMA barrister Russell Bartlett of Shortland St. Ngati Whatua is represented by Liam McEntegart.

Russell expects his site's fate to be decided soon.

"We're in discussions with them now and will resolve those within the next month. If that doesn't happen, we'll have arbitration. It's more of a square metre rate," Russell said.

Michael Bilsborough, Aecom's associate director for architecture, said that on September 24 the firm left two Newmarket sites for the Quay Park building where it leased three floors, with the capacity for 420 workstations, although about 360 staff work there.

Russell said the lease was struck for nine years.

Dean Kimpton, Aecom managing director, said shared spaces, team spaces and individual workspaces are features of the new offices.

- NZ Herald

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