Second wave of office tenants returning to Christchurch CBD


Mortlock McCormack Law is leading the second wave of quality smaller tenants heading back to the Christchurch central city.

Early next month they will finally realise their vision of being back in the CBD when they shift into their new premises. The firm has leased 875m2  in a new build on the corner of Armagh and Durham Sts. It will be a far cry from where Mortlock McCormack Law is currently based, in an old commercial building across two levels totalling 600m2 in Riccarton.

General Manager Shayne Te Aika said that the firm had always sought to return to the inner city.

“From the day we were displaced, our resolve has always been to return to the CBD. It is where we belong and it is our way of demonstrating a commitment to the Canterbury community, and particularly toward the rebuild of the CBD.  With so many opportunities and amenities at our front door, staff are all really excited to be a part of the new CBD construct.

“Our preference would have been to lead the return but finding suitable office space in a location that we recognise as the CBD has only really eventuated in the past 6-12 months.  The complexity of finding the right floor, in the right building located in the right space cannot be understated. It’s been a mammoth task to find the right space that meets all our criteria, in particular relating to location, carparking, cost and timelines.”

Brynn Burrows, director of office leasing at Colliers International in Christchurch, said Mortlock McCormack Law has been looking for some time to stake a claim back in the central city.  

“The second wave of demand is now coming from quality local businesses, such as this, who have been monitoring the progress of the CBD redevelopment with interest while they see out the end of their five or six year lease terms.”

He said it was important for tenants planning to relocate to the CBD to provide enough lead time due to long consenting and fitout periods. 

“Advance planning is really crucial and we advise businesses to spend time creating a tight brief of what they want before going to the market as this saves a huge amount of time.  We’re finding that a lot of organisations just don’t realise how long the process takes. They under estimate the lead time – especially at the moment with securing contractors and the longer consenting processes due to the sheer volume being lodged. Businesses need to look at least a year out.” 

The new offices, on level two of the three storey building, mean Mortlock McCormack will operate from one floor in a modern and well constructed development central to the CBD area and Justice Precinct, Te Aika said.  A key factor was ensuring that the staff and clients have easy access to all the amenities and opportunities the new CBD will bring.  

Te Aika said the new space is a mixture of open plan, individual offices, shared space and meeting rooms to cater for 45 staff.  

“It’s difficult, and our budget is not endless, but we appreciate that our staff, and clients, have put up with a very temporary environment for nearly five years. The partners have reviewed various office fit outs, read numerous reports on open space and standard office design. Essentially our end state is where we sit in both affordability and the practicality of catering for the diversity across the office.  Lets face it, some people just need to be in their own four walls for the safety and comfort of their peers and no study or report will ever change that.”

A full service firm, Mortlock McCormack was established in 2006 following the merger of two Christchurch-based practices.

For further information please contact:
Brynn Burrows, 03 365 7887, 021 375 917, brynn.burrows@colliers.com


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