A Newmarket insurance business will move 270 staff into Auckland's central business district, after leasing an under-construction office block from Mansons TCLM.
Simon Pennington, Fidelity Life's chief financial officer, and Tanya Hadfield, chief people officer, said the business would shift later next year.
Culum Manson, of Mansons TCLM, said as well as leasing all of level four and signing up for 3200sq m at 136 Fanshawe St, Fidelity had taken naming rights to the building opposite the Viaduct Basin.
Pennington said Fidelity owned 81 Carlton Gore Rd but staff were on a number of different levels and moving to one floor of a third of a hectare in the new block was a big change.
The pandemic had not discouraged the business from leasing new space, even though many staff had worked from home, they said.
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"What this means for us is being able to get all of our people working in one big collaborative space together," he said, citing the need for many people to be on-site like insurance brokers meeting clients.
The business, which says it is this country's largest locally owned life insurer, had been in Newmarket since the 1970s.
"Moving to this location and the brand exposure that comes with it will be another important milestone on our journey and the start of a new era for us," Pennington said.
Hadfield said staff had worked from home in the past two months but a corporate's culture could be undermined if everyone was in different locations.
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"From a cultural perspective, we want people to use the building as a hub. You lose your culture if you have all your people working from home all the time. We plan to offer a trial and the opportunity to work from home for two out of every five," Hadfield said.
Pennington said Fidelity had taken an initial 12-year lease with rights of renewal and was keen to be a tenant, not a property owner.
Mansons has its own construction business with subcontractors on the site of the former House of Haghi site near the Halsey St intersection.
2degrees is moving more than 600 staff from Newmarket to 136 Fanshawe St. The telco is leaving 47-49 George St for the seven-level office block. A 2degrees spokesperson said the business had been in the Newmarket offices since 2015. Carparking spaces for staff are understood to drop from around 50 in Newmarket to around 25 in town.
Meredith Connell is leaving the top level of BDO House at 2 Graham St for the same block. About 240 law firm staff will shift after the business outgrew the floor it had shifted to only four years ago.
Kylie Mooney, chief executive of the law firm, said staff would move around September next year. The firm has signed a 15-year lease on levels six and seven of one of two joined under-construction buildings.
"We've had extraordinary growth over the last four years since we moved into this building. When we moved in, we saw the whole firm take a complete lift. It was one of those things that I thought would be a bit of a honeymoon period. But it's continued and we've grown our staff numbers 22 per cent over four years," Mooney said in February.
The new office block has already been sold to an Asian investment fund in a three-block $700m deal approved by the Overseas Investment Office.
This week, Culum Manson said the 12-level 30,000sq m new office block planned for the ex-NZME site at 46 Albert St had been put on hold temporarily because of coronavirus and the changed commercial environment.
"Albert St would be a three-and-a-half year build. I'm still talking to people but it would be 12 levels and about 30,000sq m.
"We were going to start about now. But we've decided to put that off for a little while to just wait and see what the market does. It's a big one and, rather than crack into the construction, we just thought we'd put it on hold and see if we can pick up a customer," he said referring to a tenant.