Refurbished Freemans Bay office building for lease

By Colin Taylor

An artist's impression of the refurbished building.
An artist's impression of the refurbished building.

With anchor tenant ASB moving to a new headquarters at Wynyard Quarter, office space in a prominent five-level Auckland CBD city fringe building, which will undergo major refurbishment, is being offered for lease for the first time in 17 years.

"The 2431 sq m building at 19 Hargreaves St, Freemans Bay, will have a full makeover including new external cladding, carpet, ceilings, bathrooms and a full services upgrade," says Sam Gallaugher of Colliers International, who is offering the office space for lease with colleague Eileena Stoddart.

"The building will be presented in a new condition when the refurbishment is completed in the third quarter of 2013," he says.

"The exterior will be reclad in glass and aluminium to give a sleek, modern appearance, with aluminium louvres providing shade to the interiors. The foyer will be completely replaced, along with the bathrooms and amenity areas, and a sustainable chilled water air conditioning system will be installed."

Up to 2340sq m of net lettable floor area is available across levels one to four; with tenants able to opt for one or more floors of 585sq m each.

The ground floor and basement contain 92 car parks, with the potential to add another 15. The building's car park ratio is well in excess of Auckland Council requirements for its floor area, Gallaugher says.

"The council requires one car park for every 40 square metres of floor area, but this building provides one park per 26sq m. This equates to up to 30 car parks available for each floor."

Shared facilities include shower and changing areas and bike parking, as well as landscaped grounds.

The building is positioned on an elevated north facing site, providing excellent signage exposure to the motorway and Victoria Park. Naming rights are also up for grabs, says Gallaugher. The site also provides easy access to public transport and has views over the city and harbour. Other occupiers in the area include Fuji Xerox, Red Bull and Infinity.

Vacancy in the area is very low, he adds. "For this much office space to become available in one building in this location is very rare, especially given the added benefits of consecutive floors and naming rights."

The building, which was designed by Avery Leuschke Architects and built by Fletcher Construction in 1990, far exceeds current seismic strength requirements, says the property's owner, Humphrey O'Leary, director of Escrow Holdings Ltd.

A report based on an Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP), produced in September 2012 by Stephen Mitchell Engineers Ltd, shows the property's seismic strength is rated in excess of 100 per cent of new building standard (NBS) - with the engineer rating it at 230 per cent, O'Leary says.

"It is a remarkable achievement for a structure built in 1990 to exceed today's earthquake standards by such a significant margin," says O'Leary.

Mathew Erskine-Shaw, partner at Stephen Mitchell Engineers, says the building's 230 per cent NBS seismic rating effectively means that in a "new building standard seismic event" (a one-in-500-year earthquake), the building is expected to suffer minimal structural damage and remain operational.

- NZ Herald

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