Outstanding views, expansive floor plates, high-profile naming rights and a hyper-connected Victoria Quarter location await the first occupiers of a landmark new office redevelopment at 35 Graham Street.
The former BJ Ball building in Auckland’s CBD is about to be transformed into more than 20,000sq m of premium office space optimised for new ways of working.
Designed by internationally renowned architects Woods Bagot, the building is superbly located in a thriving hub of corporate activity on the western frame of Auckland’s CBD.
It will make the most of its premium location with sweeping harbour views and large floor plates that enable flexibility and efficiency.
NZX-listed property company Asset Plus has exclusively appointed Colliers to secure tenants and naming rights for 35G, which is due for completion in Q1 2024.
Gallaugher says the building will set a bold new benchmark for the Victoria Quarter.
“This is a chance to occupy premium office space in a dynamic CBD precinct surrounded by many like-minded corporates, including Spark, MBIE, BDO, Meredith Connell and NZME.
“The location’s strength is evidenced by the recent relocation of Fidelity, 2 Degrees and Genesis from city fringe locations, and Tower, Southern Cross and Meredith Connell from the CBD core.
“These leading companies were attracted to the proximity to other corporates, the social and recreational amenity in Victoria Quarter, and ease of access to the motorway system and the North Shore.
“Large floor plates allowed many of these companies to move from multiple floors to just one or two. They were also drawn to the superb access to amenity such as Victoria Park, Les Mills, the Tepid Baths and numerous bars and restaurants.
“35G represents an unparalleled opportunity to embrace all these benefits and more in a world-class workspace that will set the bar for years to come.”
The development, which was recently granted resource consent, will be New Zealand’s largest-ever adaptive reuse project. It will preserve the heritage character of the modernist BJ Ball building, while targeting a world-leading 6 Green Star sustainability rating.
The original 12,900sq m structure will be seismically strengthened before three new floors are added. The retention of 1.8 million kg of reinforced concrete from the original structure will result in projected carbon savings equivalent to 13,000 flights between Auckland and Queenstown.
The building will also undergo a climate adaptation assessment to ensure it is resistant to the effects of climate change and natural disasters.
Upon completion, 35G will boast a stunning new facade, providing ample signage opportunities at the gateway to the CBD, while retaining the heritage-listed 1959 Milan Mrkusich mosaic abstract artwork.
Premium amenities will include a cafe, end of trip facilities with showers and secure bike storage, and a landscaped area for tenants to enjoy the sun, entertain clients or host private functions.
The light and airy lobby will feature a second cafe alongside bookable meeting and event spaces, including atrium stairs seating up to 40 people.
Paul Dyson, Commercial Leasing Director at Colliers, says 35G has all the ingredients sought by leading corporate occupiers.
“The building’s premium design, location and amenities, along with its sustainability credentials, are all serious drawcards.
“We’ve seen increasing demand from corporate tenants seeking space in 6 Green Star buildings, similar to the new government benchmark.
“There’s also been a growing emphasis on attracting and retaining the best talent by providing workspaces that foster productivity, health and wellbeing.
“The large, flexible floor plates have been designed to promote collaboration and staff interaction, with the ability to locate flexible working zones around the light-filled voids.
“The office floors make the most of the building’s location on the crest of a ridge, with uninterrupted views over the Viaduct that can never be built out.
“Adding to the appeal is the ability to secure naming rights in a superb CBD gateway location, providing maximum brand exposure.”
The building is accessibly located between Britomart and the City Rail Link’s Aotea Station, which is forecast to be the busiest on the rail network upon completion around the same time as 35G.
The station’s Victoria Street entrance will be a brief walk from Graham Street, providing excellent access for staff from eastern, western, and southern suburbs.
The building is also highly accessible to staff from across the Harbour Bridge, with bus stops from the North Shore immediately adjacent, and motorway access and the ferry terminal located nearby.
Complementing the public transport options and end of trip facilities will be ample basement car parks, including EV charging stations. A range of public car parking facilities are also in the immediate area.
Colliers has extensive leasing expertise across the CBD’s western frame, encompassing the Victoria and Wynyard Quarters.
The Commercial Leasing team has recently negotiated tenancies for Tower, Southern Cross, Spaces, Meredith Connell, NTT and Fidelity, as well as renegotiating Air New Zealand’s lease. Crombie Lockwood has also recently committed to the area again.
Gallaugher says the office market remains highly competitive despite the economic impacts of Covid-19, with corporates continuing to seek premium space.
“While there has been an increase in office vacancy, the increasingly positive economic outlook – as well as high asking rents for new premises under development – indicate that rents are likely to start trending upwards, potentially reaching 3 per cent a year by early 2024.
“The premium office vacancy rate is forecast to halve by then, which will drive strong competition for the very best space.”
Dyson says the pre-leasing of 35G provides occupiers a chance to secure a truly premium-grade space now, before rental growth accelerates again.
“Premium space is being absorbed almost as soon as it comes to the market. Mansons’ nearby Green Star developments at 136 and 155 Fanshawe Street are all but fully leased, as is Precinct’s Commercial Bay office tower.
“The pre-leasing of 35G provides a unique window of opportunity to occupy a landmark new development that will anchor the Victoria Quarter for years to come.”