Prime tenancies up for grabs

By Colin Taylor

An artist's impression of the office building at 151 Victoria St, two blocks east of Victoria Park, Auckland.
An artist's impression of the office building at 151 Victoria St, two blocks east of Victoria Park, Auckland.

Tenants are already being sought for Manson TCLM's big new office building now under construction at 151 Victoria St West, two blocks east of Victoria Park and scheduled for completion in late 2015.

The company commenced earthworks five months ago, excavating a giant hole that will house the foundations and two levels of basement car parking for the 18,600sq m office building.

New Zealand Post previously owned and occupied the site which it sold to Manson TCLM following the relocation of its Auckland Mail Centre to Highbrook Estate in East Tamaki. One building on the site - Courier Post House - was retained and sold by Manson for $22.8 million to a private investor with a nine-year lease to NZ Post. The low-rise office and warehouse buildings on the balance of the site were demolished to make way for the new building.

The new building will be Manson's second biggest development after the Telecom campus, located directly across the road, and is the largest project the company has undertaken without tenant pre-commitment.

Paul Hain, who is managing the leasing of the building on behalf of Bayleys Real Estate, says naming rights will be available to the appropriate corporate tenant and the leasing rates will be by negotiation.

"Manson's offer tailor-made leasing proposals that include dealing with tenants' existing lease liabilities," he says.

Hain says the new building will be a relatively low-rise structure at just six levels but will have massive floor plate areas of 3100sq m per level.

"This offers the opportunity for medium-sized companies to accommodate all their staff on one floor or for very large companies to occupy multiple contiguous floors with interlinking internal staircases," he says. "However, the building also offers options for smaller tenants as it has been designed in two parts which enables each floor to be split into two tenancies of 2000sq m and 1100sq m."

Hain says a giant atrium, similar in size to the one in the Westpac on Takutai Square building in Britomart, will run through the building flooding it with natural light and providing a striking entrance lobby for tenants and visitors to the property. It will also connect with a substantial and extensively landscaped public plaza area.

Each floor will have an internal sky bridge through the atrium and the 2000sq m of tenancy space on one side of this atrium will also have its own smaller atrium.

A floor to ceiling stud height of 3.1m, compared with 2.7m in a typical office floor, plus a glass curtain exterior facade will increase light penetration into the building as well.

The 151 Victoria St building has been designed to a Five Green Star rating.

"This means it will offer significant energy savings for tenants as well as a healthy environment for staff to work in," Hain says.

"With no other office development of any significance currently under way in the CBD, this is really the only opportunity that big tenants have to secure a substantial amount of new, Five Green Star space in central Auckland. Consequently, we already have significant interest in the building, particularly for the upper floors which will have expansive city and harbour views because of the site's elevated position."

Culum Manson, director of Manson TCLM, says 151 Victoria St has been designed in response to feedback from prospective tenants about the type of accommodation they want.

"It's all about efficiency, both in space use and running costs. Companies like having staff located on fewer, larger floors because it results in a more collegial and productive working environment. Bigger floor areas also mean less wasted space and they also reduce operating expenses," Manson says.

"High quality and healthy building services, such as increased fresh air delivery in air conditioning systems and high levels of natural light penetration to working and amenity areas are also important and that's what we focus on providing with our buildings."

Manson says Manson TCLM will be looking to work in partnership with tenants and their consultants during the construction of 151 Victoria St to provide "bespoke tenancy arrangements" that suit the particular requirements of their business.

"We may also be able to assist tenants to exit existing lease commitments as we have done with a number of other new projects that we have in the market," he says.

Manson TCLM has been the most active developer of new office buildings in Auckland in the past two years, with all of its projects self-funded and undertaken on a speculative basis.

"We foresaw an impending shortage of efficient green-star rated buildings capable of accommodating large tenants and were sufficiently confident of demand for this type of space to be comfortable about undertaking developments without substantial pre-commitment from tenants."

Other recent central Auckland projects have included the nearby GHD Building at 27 Napier St, Freeman's Bay and Oracle House at 162 Victoria St West, which has reportedly been sold to Sir Russell Coutts.

Nearing completion in Newmarket is Manson's 12,796sq m Watercare Services building at 73 Remuera Rd which is close to 80 per cent leased.

- NZ Herald

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