Mercury NZ has finished moving around 600 staff into new purpose-built premises in Newmarket.
Mercury people and performance general manager Marlene Strawson said staff met in a special newly-designed partially-closed area of its new Auckland headquarters when news of the Christchurch mosque shooting broke out this month.
That project base allows special management groups to gather to deal with major events. It provided room for special teams to come together fast and in the event of a disaster or attack, examine how Mercury needs to respond.
Staff, customers and support were all discussed that Friday this month, she said.
Strawson showed off the new offices developed by Mansons TCLM. A BBQ deck and curvy 1950s-style back-to-the-future facade mark the new premises. The business has shifted around 600 people into its Newmarket building at 33 Broadway and said the end result exceeded expectations.
Mercury looked at BDO House, 2 Graham St when that was under construction and a concrete shell, she said. Executives liked its design and said Culum Manson bought the site at 33 Broadway "on spec".
Mansons then presented plans to Mercury executives who she said were delighted with the location, layout, services and design so it has leased the top three of five storeys. The building has 13,103sq m in two adjoining structures, separated by a large enclosed central atrium.
Strawson said Newmarket was ideal, given where staff lived because it was an extremely central location. The CBD was never considered as a new permanent home, she said.
"Historically, Mercury has deep roots in Auckland and we wanted our new home to be a visible part of the Auckland landscape. The search for a new building location began in 2016. Initially, the geography was defined by then-current premises: an address between the CBD and Greenlane. Analysis of where our people lived showed a significant population commuted from south of the CBD, with teams also in Hamilton, Rotorua and Taupo so the focus narrowed to options with easy access from that direction," Strawson said.
Newmarket has excellent train and bus connections and a new retail hub. Initially, there were no suitable buildings in the vicinity, she said.
"We were approached by Mansons with a design proposal for a new build, which became the key that unlocked our new home," she said.
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Mercury already had about 100 staff in the ANZ tower on Albert St and a further 450 people at Greelane and Newmarket before the move. So now all staff are on the one site in open-plan floors looking north-east towards Auckland Domain and south-west towards Newmarket and Mt Eden. The business leased 6800sq m or just over half a hectare.
Like Xero, Mercury has shifted to activity-based working, sometimes called hot desking, offering staff lockers in the new building on the Alma St corner.
Bolon, a woven vinyl flooring product, was laid on raised floors which have all services underneath, meaning no droppers for computer and electrical cables.
The interior design in the 5-star green-rated building with two basement levels was by Warren and Mahoney and stairs between levels four and five are extra-wide to allow seating, just like the architects' own stairs between the ground floor and level one in its Wynyard Quarter headquarters.
Dichroic glass clads those staircases, displaying different colours as the light catches it and one walks past.
In 2016, Augusta Capital said its Augusta Funds Management unit has signed a deal to buy the Newmarket building for $143m.
Mercury is on a 12-year lease from Augusta, with rights of renewal. And although the new building is more expensive than the other premises the business leased, the move has created efficiencies in Mercury's Auckland operation "through bringing together teams that were spread across offices in Newmarket and Greenlane with different owners and separate lease terms", Strawson said.
Formis was the basebuild architects= and the fitout was by Alaska.
Mercury has reception and an interactive display on the ground floor. Tegal has level one, Avanti Finance is on part of level two and a cafe and retail space will soon open on the ground floor.