Wellington: Tenant-driven office space for lease

Press Release – Bayleys

Landlords who listen to the office tenancy sector and proactively respond with future-proofing strategies for their buildings are riding high in the Wellington market as evidenced by the current tenant interest being shown in a property on the corner of Taranaki …9 December, 2011

Tenant-driven office space for lease

Landlords who listen to the office tenancy sector and proactively respond with future-proofing strategies for their buildings are riding high in the Wellington market as evidenced by the current tenant interest being shown in a property on the corner of Taranaki Street and Courtenay Place.

NEC House was purchased in November 2005 by Fern Investments Limited, a consortium of private offshore investors with major commercial investments throughout New Zealand, Canada and Europe.

They have now embarked upon a significant refurbishment programme largely driven by the market demand for office space which meets not only compliance standards around structural integrity, but also fulfills aesthetic demands.

Bayleys Wellington leasing specialist Graeme Diamond says the NEC building which has large floor plates has been professionally assessed this year at 72 percent compliant to National Building Standards. Such reassurance appeases anxious prospective tenants.

“Front-of-mind for potential occupiers in Wellington – as with the rest of New Zealand – is the seismic compliance issue; it’s usually one of the first questions to be raised. Buildings that are seismically-suspect are now being disregarded by potential tenants, creating a challenging environment for many of Wellington’s landlords,” says Mr Diamond.

“This property is seismically-compliant which ticks the major concern box; now the owners are investing significantly in upgrading the space to meet other requirements of discerning tenants looking for quality premises.

One of the floors has just been leased to Brookers, the legal, tax and accounting business arm of New York-headquartered Thomson Reuters Corporation with occupancy scheduled for the end of this month. They are relocating from Guardian Trust House in Willeston Street.

The refurbishment of the building is underway and will include a totally new-look lobby, new energy-efficient lighting, significant upgrade of amenity areas, and the upgrade of all mechanical services such as air-conditioning, fire protection, lifts and electrical works to contemporary standards.

“Within this precinct of Wellington, there is a dearth of buildings which can offer large floor plates and the design of these would allow further subdivision into two or three tenancies,” says Mr Diamond.

“Tenants looking for premises in this part of town would typically be process-driven organisations such as IT companies, banking administration services and Government departments.

“Adding to the appeal of NEC House is the public transport re-jig which now sees Go Wellington buses passing directly outside the property which is just one section from the Railway Station.”

The wider Courtenay precinct is an evolving area and Mr Diamond says cost-sensitive tenants who do not require a core CBD presence are gravitating there.

“There are still floors available in NEC House and with the upgrade progressing well, we expect enquiry to gain momentum on the back of Brookers commitment and the quality refurbishment roll-out.”

Within close proximity – and giving further endorsement to this part of the city – is the fully-strengthened ex-Rialto Building (John Chambers Building) which has recently been leased to high profile companies such as HRL Morrison and Co (Infratil) and Xero.

ENDS

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