Construction of new six-star rated offices for around 1400 Beca staff leaving Pitt St for the downtown waterfront Wynyard Quayside has reached level four of eight levels.
Scott Pritchard, chief executive of Precinct Properties –
developing three new adjoining buildings on a Wynyard Quarter block – said Hawkins was well advanced on the job for Beca and other tenants fronting Halsey St on the waterfront.
Three interconnected buildings are rising at 124 Halsey St and 117 Pakenham St. The site is now a network of scaffolding and steel framing but will eventually rise from five to eight levels across the site.
The three new buildings are expected to be worth around $240 million once completed, Pritchard said.
Around 18,500sq m is rising of which only 5000sq m remains to be leased.
Beca will occupy levels 0 to 5 over approximately 15,000sq m, leaving about 5000 sqm on the upper floors available for lease by one or more businesses.
The three-building design has interconnecting bridges between the two buildings at levels six and seven, providing floorplates of 1961sq m each.
Level eight is the top floor, with a 732sq m floorplate and expected to have big harbour views.
Pritchard said completion was expected by 2025′s first quarter.
Annual net rents of around $600/sq m were being achieved on the development, he said.
“What we’re seeing in the market is companies like Beca and other professional services firms are really seeking very high sustainability credentials from their buildings and the buildings are part of their organisation’s strategy and this requirement for sustainability is really high.”
Another Generator offering of just under 2000sq m in a separate but joined timber-framed structure was part of Wynyard Quayside.
All three new buildings have been designed by Warren and Mahoney in a team led by Blair Johnstone. The architecture firm’s offices are right next to the new project, in the sawtooth building Precinct also owned at 139 Pakenham St.
Pritchard said completion of the three buildings would mark an end to Precinct’s Wynyard work, which started around 2015.
Precinct won’t wholly own the new buildings once completed. These will be 75 per cent owned by the Singapore Government’s property investment fund, which Pritchard refers to as GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation) founded in 1981 and with significant other Auckland assets.
Precinct will hold the remaining 25 per cent ownership of the new blocks.
Precinct’s gain with Beca at Wynyard Quayside is potentially a big loss for the owner of the premises where the engineering and consultancy firm has been for many years.
In 2012, the Herald reported Christchurch landlord and earthquake-hit investor Miles Middleton paid $55 million for the ex-Vodafone, ex-Auckland Regional Council headquarters.
Middleton took insurance proceeds from Christchurch buildings and poured them into the high-profile commercial investment, buying Beca House at 21 Pitt St.
His four Christchurch high-rises included the Westpac and DTZ buildings in the City Mall which have all been demolished and some time ago, he indicated he was considering investing insurance proceeds in either Auckland or Australia.
Kiwi Income Properties sold the block at a 2 per cent premium to the valuation of $54 million. The deal reflected an initial yield of 8 per cent and settlement is due July 2. The sale was brokered by CB Richard Ellis.
* Anne Gibson has been the Herald’s property editor for 23 years, having won many awards, written books and covered property extensively here and overseas.