Queen St 15 storey block features the X factor

By Colin Taylor

Fully tenanted block with average lease terms of about 3.8 years is well located in Auckland CBD
203 Queen street.
203 Queen street.

The majority of a prominent 15-storey tower block at 203 Queen St on the north western corner of Queen St and Victoria St East is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Originally constructed in 1962, the building was given an extensive refurbishment in 2005 at a cost of about $17 million.

The property, sitting on its own freehold title, with a 24m frontage to Queen St and 35m to Victoria St West, has a net lettable area of 7066sq m and provides 12 levels of accommodation. "If required, each level could be placed on its own title," says John Binning, commercial sales and investments broker for Jones Lang LaSalle, who is responsible for the sale.

He says the tower block was given new glazing and ceilings in its makeover, along with fitouts of communal areas and an upgrade to the lifts.

After undertaking an independent initial evaluation procedure [IEP] the building has achieved Grade A-plus seismic strength, with a rating of 119 per cent of the new building standard [NBS].

"It now offers fully modern accommodation and high-quality offices within the heart of Auckland's CBD," says Binning, who is selling the property by expression of interest closing at 4pm on August 12 unless it sells beforehand.

Binning says 203 Queen St is an excellent example of a building which has successfully achieved more than the 100 per cent required to meet the Grade A-plus seismic strength standard which will add to its attraction for current and prospective clients.

"Today, property seismic issues cannot be ignored and they do influence tenants as part of the building's quality mix when assessing a shortlist of accommodation options."

Binning says the building offers some interesting architectural features. "The 'loft', which sits on the upper level, provides an exclusive office and entertainment area of minimalist design. It is accessed via an engraved granite stairwell accessible from Level One, which is enhanced with tread lighting. The loft is fitted out to an excellent standard and includes a full kitchen and tiled deck area on the western elevation of the building."

Another feature of the building is its lobby which has access through an impressive entrance off Queen St. "This has a real X-factor," Binning says. The lobby has polished limestone floor tiles, along with a mix of natural beech and painted timber panelling and cladding. A large steel artwork comprising two circular hoops is positioned at either side of the entrance ramp creating an artistic twist with an already contemporary setting.

"The property is at 100 per cent occupancy and is home to an array of tenants," Binning says. One of New Zealand's leading gyms, City Fitness, occupies Levels One, Two and Three.

Level One provides an open plan workout space, along with group fitness rooms, where classes take place. Level Two is also open plan and contains a reception area. Abundance Yoga and Pilates studios are situated on Level Three, which comprises a number of partitioned rooms for classes. Easy access between the floors is obtained via a stairwell.

Amenities include toilets on each level, and separate male and female changing areas.

Although the sale does not include the retail ground floor, which is leased to the ANZ bank as a freehold in tenure, a number of leading professional tenants occupy the building with average remaining lease terms of 3.8 years.

Binning says the office space over Levels Four to 11 is of a superior standard featuring carpeted floors, suspended ceilings, diffused fluorescent lights and ducted air conditioning, with the landlord owning the fitout.

The office levels are subdivided to provide between one and four tenancies and have a good stud height of about 2.7m.

Each floor is provided with good-quality bathrooms beside the lift shafts. There is easy access to car parks in the adjoining Finance Plaza building, where tenants can lease car parks short- or long-term.

- NZ Herald

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