The $200 million 21-level D' />

The first tenants will move into the country's most expensive and most sophisticated new office tower in four months.

The $200 million 21-level Deloitte Centre on Auckland's Queen St is nearing completion.

In October, BNZ will shift into half the building, open a flagship branch and occupy the area from the three-level entry podium up to level eight.

By November, a string of elite-brand shops will open on the tower's street frontages. Australia's True Alliance will have several shops below the tower. That business sells goods with global brand names including Lacoste, Ben Sherman, Rockport, North Face, Reebok and Speedo.

By January, Deloitte will move on to levels nine to 18 of the tower. The top three levels from 19 to 21 are for plant and building services.

To acknowledge the junction between the new tower and the existing Jean Batten Building facade, a "reconciliation wall" has been developed. Scaffolding was yesterday being taken off that lower-level Shortland St wall designed to harmonise the new building with the old street frontage. The new wall sports a series of limestone fins in recognition of the art deco building's Oamaru limestone facade.

"It's a sympathetic gesture between the old and the new," said Tim Pope, Brookfield Multiplex development division regional director.

The Deloitte Centre was New Zealand's only premium-grade five-star high-rise.

"There's no building in New Zealand of its ilk," he said.

The developers worked closely with the Historic Places Trust on the Jean Batten Building, he said.

"It's been restored to the nth degree. The big brass lights will go back on, the flagpole has gone back on the top, the crests or emblems will go on the outside particularly around the verandas and the entry foyers will be restored," Pope said.

Paul Feltham, Brookfield Multiplex construction division construction manager, said art deco cornices, skirtings and airconditioning diffusers were features of the interior's restoration. Steel-frame windows have been restored and re-glazed. The old building's stud height remains 2.7m yet sophisticated ceiling services had been installed.

Pope said not only was the tower Auckland's only high-rise to occupy an island site - straddling Queen St, Shortland St, Jean Batten Place and Fort St - but its environmental features were advanced and designed to gain a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council. Rainwater will be harvested from the building and used to flush toilets. Upper-level interiors have 2.9m studs reducing the need for artificial lighting.

A twin-skin facade on the west face with a 600cm air gap between two sheets of high-performance glass will help keep the tower warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Most of the tower is double-glazed.

The tower, designed by international architects Woods Bagot and local firm Warren & Mahoney, will be owned by Brookfield Multiplex.

Pope said his firm would also donate a $300,000 foyer sculpture by artist Fred Graham.


* At 80 Queen St.
* Fully-leased block.
* Building started 2006.
* To finish by January.
* Owned by Brookfield Multiplex.
* 23,000sq m net lettable area.
* 170 carparks.