Key Points:

      Office tenants in new PwC Tower, Commercial Bay
    • 80% of offices or commercial space are leased
    • Alvarium has today announced lease of L37
    • PwC has leased space and has naming rights
    • Law firm Chapman Tripp has leased space
    • MinterEllisonRuddWatts will also move there
    • DLA Piper and Spaces are fellow new tenants

    A fund manager has announced that it leased one of the top floors of the new $1 billion PwC Tower at Commerical Bay.

    A spokesman for Alvarium Investments said today the business would take a top position in the building, going on level 37 when the tower was finished.

    Building owner Precinct Properties said it was not commenting on new leases in the building and refused to confirm Alvarium's lease: "We won't be commenting on this story thanks," said marketing and communications general manager Nicola McArthur.

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    But the spokesman said Alvarium had leased all of level 37 and staff said they were looking forward to moving into the new building next year where they would enjoy city-wide views.

    The funds manager is expanding here and already has close links with Precinct. In February, the Herald reported that Alvarium (NZ) Wealth Management had bought 51 per cent of investment fund manager Pathfinder Asset Management for a secret price.

    Alvarium is 68.5 per cent owned by Alvarium Investments, a company jointly owned by businessman Ben Gough's Tailorspace and LJ Partnership which manages $25 billion in assets globally.

    The remaining stake in Alvarium is owned by interests associated with NZAM, a business which Alvarium bought last year.

    View from the top of PwC, Commercial Bay. Photo / supplied
    View from the top of PwC, Commercial Bay. Photo / supplied

    NZAM is already a Precinct tenant, occupying space on level nine of Zurich House at the foot of Queen St and directly beside the new PwC Tower.

    Who is going on PwC's grandstand top floor or level 39 remains up in the air.

    One finance expert said he believed Precinct had been in negotiations with a Mongolian horse business and that business would lease the top floor.

    Tom Huang, a solicitor at Queen City Law on Queen St acting for the Mongolian horse business, denied that.

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    "They have no plans to relocate their office to L39," he said of Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Group.

    READ MORE:
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    In 2017, the Herald reported how the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry had donated $150,000 to the National Party.

    It had also sent 1200 New Zealand racehorses to China to race and breed, including New Zealand horse of the year and derby winner Mongolian Khan.

    Precinct has already announced that naming rights have gone to PwC which will lease space along with Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, DLA Piper and Regus.

    PwC already leases the neighbouring Quay St building which Precinct owns and has naming rights.

    MinterEllison is not a Precinct tenant. That business is in the Lumley Centre on Shortland St.

    DLA Piper is on level 22 of 205 Queen St.

    Chapman Tripp is already in Precinct's ANZ Centre on the Albert St/Swanson St corner.

    Level 36 of PwC at Commercial Bay. Photo / supplied
    Level 36 of PwC at Commercial Bay. Photo / supplied

    In February, Precinct said it had leased 84 per cent of its shops, up from 76 per cent last year. Office pre-leasing commitments stand at 80 per cent, up from 78 per cent.

    The tower's construction has been mired in difficulties and planned shops have already lost one Christmas trading because of delays and will again miss this Christmas.

    On February 19, Precinct announced today that total Commercial Bay project costs rose from $685m to $690m. Christmas/New Year holiday period delays had resulted in "around one month slippage in the construction programme" and $15.4m has been withheld from the builder for late delivery.

    The tower's offices were originally scheduled to open this July but won't now be finished until December.

    Although H&M opened last year, the rest of the shops which were due to open last November won't now open till September this year, according to previous Precinct announcements.

    But then on May 29, Precinct delivered further bad news: opening dates were again revised for the shops to next March and for and for the offices to next April. Total project costs were expected of up to $700m with the potential to rise a further $10m reflecting delays, Precinct said.

    Fletcher Construction has built the tower but Precinct said that the main contractor had brought a number of claims against Precinct under the construction contract seeking extensions of time and additional cost and further claims are anticipated.

    "To date, these claims have not resulted in material additional costs or extensions of time being awarded and Precinct remains confident that the provisions of the construction contract appropriately protect Precinct from losses due to contractor delay and/or breach of contractor obligations. Liquidated damages are expected to largely mitigate the impact on Precinct from losses of income and other prolongation costs over the delayed period, however liquidated damages will cease to apply following completion of base build works," its statement to the NZX said.

    Precinct shares were yesterday trading around $1.77.