Ivory tower in the heart of the Auckland Learning Quarter

A 16-level tower at the heart of Auckland’s education precinct is for sale through sole agency Colliers International.

The freehold 6,662sq m office building at 7 City Road, Grafton is being marketed by Tony Allsop and Jonathan Lynch, with tenders closing on Thursday 13 April.

Located opposite the Langham Hotel on the edge of the CBD, the tower is smartly positioned within an area popularly known as the Learning Quarter.

Lynch says the precinct is home to numerous student apartment blocks and private tertiary providers, and has enviable proximity to two of New Zealand’s top universities. It is a short walk from AUT University and midway between the University of Auckland’s city and Grafton campuses.

Lynch says the tower is a solid passive investment with very good redevelopment potential under the Unitary Plan.

“The property is in the city centre zone, which recognises the area’s pivotal role to Auckland’s success and puts it at the top of the planning hierarchy,” he says.

“Developers looking to capitalise on the location’s potential could open it up to a mix of office, retail, residential and educational uses.

“In the meantime, the new owner could continue to draw on the tower’s $1.77 million of annual rental returns.”

Allsop says the building spans 16 floors, with four basement levels providing 134 secure carparks. 

“There are two levels of podium office accommodation and a 10-level office tower above, which offers excellent views over the CBD and Sky Tower.”

The building, understood to be designed by Sinclair Jones Architects, was completed in 1987 as part of a comprehensive development incorporating the adjoining building at 67 Symonds Street.

The main entrance is on City Road, which runs between Symonds and Queen streets, while access to the carpark is via the adjoining Symonds Street property.

“The foyer has been refurbished to a high standard with expansive glazing, double automatic entry glass doors, and a granite-finish tiled floor,” Allsop says.

Access to the upper floors is via three lifts which were refurbished last year, while a second set of automatic glass doors at the north of the foyer leads to external stairs to levels five and six.

Allsop says an attractively landscaped courtyard on level six features pavers, large garden boxes and seating.

“The courtyard leads to the podium offices and a lift providing access to the basement carparks.

“In the main tower, most of the offices have been refurbished with carpet and tiled foyers, upgraded kitchenettes, and modern bathroom facilities finished to a good standard.”

The tower has a steel and concrete core with external walls of black-tinted glass and aluminium joinery.

An initial seismic evaluation report by Stephen Mitchell Engineers in 2012 found the building was not considered to be a potential earthquake risk. 

The tower is in the wider Symonds Street ridge area, close to K’Road and the wider CDB.

A number of student-dedicated apartment blocks have been developed in the area in recent years, including Carlaw Park Student Village, Unilodge and 55 Symonds Street. 

The property is within easy walking distance to Queen and Symonds streets, both of which are main bus routes.

The tower also offers ample parking and benefits from easy access to the motorway network, Allsop says.

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