One of New Zealand’s largest businesses is moving headquarters, shifting 1800 staff from two Auckland locations into a new $650 million Mansons TCLM building rising in the heart of the city’s CBD.
In 2025, all staff working for NZX-listed Spark New Zealand will leave its headquarters at 167 Victoria St West and most will leave a Mayoral Drive building, the business said today.
They will shift to New Zealand’s largest new under-construction commercial premises, an active building site for more than two years.
Spark, which employs more than 5000 people, will establish new national headquarters at the under-construction site between Albert St, Wyndham St, Mills Lane and Swanson St.
The business has been in the four-building campus between Victoria St West, Dock St and Hardinge St since 2010: Mansons TCLM built that block for the business and Ted Manson held his 60th birthday in there, with Lorde singing at that event in 2014.
The telco will occupy six of the new 12-storey building’s floors on the block which was the New Zealand Herald’s home for 152 years.
Heather Polglase, Spark’s people and culture director, said the shift would be a huge benefit.
“Our current offices have our teams separated across multiple towers, and some of our Spark people are based at another building altogether. Staying put would require an extensive redesign of our buildings to support our ambitions and make them fit for purpose both today and tomorrow, whereas moving somewhere new gives us the opportunity to design our working environments alongside our people from the start,” she said.
Staff said they valued offices that promote collaboration and connection. The new site will have this, she said.
“It will also be the first site in Aotearoa to achieve a platinum WELL certification for the whole building, which measures building factors that impact human health and well-being such as air and water quality, access to adequate lighting, comfort, and noise levels.
“Over the next few months, we will be co-designing our new spaces with our people, to ensure we offer our teams unrivalled experiences at work that support them to achieve, to progress, and to work flexibly with high levels of well-being,” Polglase said.
Fifty Albert was designed specifically to meet Spark’s needs, with dedicated areas for focused work, collaboration and socialisation.
Indoor and outdoor spaces and a restorative area for meditation, yoga, or prayer would be made available to staff.
“It will also include all-gender bathrooms and a dedicated space for parents, aligning with Spark’s Whakapuāwai kaupapa – its new parental leave package,” Polglase said.
Early 2025 is the target date for the shift.
Culum Manson of Mansons TCLM said his company had signed up Spark for 167 Victoria St West in 2007 and the business moved into that four-building campus in 2010.
“They’re a frequent flyer with us. That was a very significant lease at the time, a big deal because it was 30,000sq m of new commercial premises that they leased at that time. Those buildings were sold a few years later to a number of parties.”
The new Fifty Albert premises would have 120 per cent carbon offset for construction as well as for the lifetime of the building, with a native forest to be planted as part of that, Manson said.
Spark would occupy levels one to six and would get lower-level signage rights.
The building will have 210 car parks and a state-of-the-art end-of-trip wellness hub with lockers, showers, toilets, bike parks and recharging stations, he said.
Construction has seen five carpark levels completed. Three commercial office floors have risen above Albert St, Manson said, so the building’s arrival on the site is clear to passersby.
In 2021, Manson said that despite predictions of falling demand for new offices, so many tenants had contacted the family business that the project began without leasing any pre-commitment due to the firm’s confidence about signing leases well before construction completion.
Features of the new building are to be:
- quarter-hectare floor plates of 2300sq m;
- around 3000 people to work on 12 office floors;
- 637sq m ground-floor retail;
- more than 200 car parks in three basement levels sleeved into the sloping site;
- Albert St main reception, Mills Lane frontage too;
- Ten 1800kg lifts to run at 3.5m/second and one goods lift;
- 3m internal stud heights;
- targeting 6-star world leadership green star rating;
- naming rights for sale.