Meridian signs for return to Christchurch CBD

National electricity retailer Meridian is returning its Christchurch office to the CBD next year, taking nearly half the office space in the five level Awly building that is currently under construction.

Meridian has signed a 10-year lease for 4100m2 to accommodate its 370 Christchurch staff in the Warren and Mahoney designed building, owned by Awly Investments Ltd, at 287-293 Durham St.

Noel Gilchrist and Helen Weideman of Colliers International, who negotiated the significant lease, said they hope to be able to shortly announce confirmation of further tenants for the Awly building.

“Meridian’s move sends another really positive signal to the market that big office tenants are keen to return to the inner city. Meridian conducted an exhaustive search lasting over a year during which they looked at numerous sites.

“We think that tenants have been sitting back waiting to see who’s going where but the office space is starting to take on much more shape now and opportunities are becoming more limited. Office tenants who don’t act shortly risk missing out on their first choice,” Gilchrist said.

John Langman, Meridian’s corporate property and procurement manager, hoped Meridian would be in the new space by next March or April.

He said the company was attracted to the Awly building because it fitted the criteria that staff wanted.

“In talking with our staff, safety still remained of primary importance – particularly in a multi level building. They also wanted good facilities within the building, such as showers and cycle parks, and wanted to be close to other things such as cafes and shops.

“We’re delighted to be moving into the CBD, not just for ourselves, but because we know it will encourage others to follow suit. We think this building is one of the best in the city and we are very keen to be part of the inner city rebuild.”

Awly is the first building in Christchurch, post earthquake, to achieve a 5 Green Star Design rating. Among the many sustainable features are a high-performance façade with solar-control glazing and tailored external shading, base isolated structure for greater seismic resilience, and a highly efficient air conditioning system.

Meridian also selected Awly because of its potential energy efficiencies. The building has been designed to target a 4 Star Plus NABERSNZ rating – an energy performance measurement for office buildings that can help reduce costs for tenants and enhance building value for owners.

NABERSNZ measures and rates energy performance on a scale of 1 to 6 stars. A 5 star rating is considered market leading performance. To achieve a rating, qualified assessors use 12 months of energy use data, and take into account building area, location, computer density, and hours of operation to rate performance.

Before the earthquakes, Meridian was located in Manchester St but subsequently shifted to premises in Moorhouse Ave.

For further information:

Noel Gilchrist, 03 365 7887, 021 335 837,

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