This will be the last “development update” post for a while, as I’ll be off on holiday for a month. The RCG Development Tracker has just been updated and I’ll get back onto things in November. Oh, and one of the updates is that I’ve added in the Northern Busway and (proposed) AMETI busway.
It’s been a pretty big month for office development, with two major new office buildings announced in August. Let’s take a look at the offices popping up around Auckland.
Without a doubt, the city centre is leader of the pack for offices. The rents are higher and the buildings are bigger. I did a post a year ago looking at office development in the city centre; as a quick update of that:
- 125 Queen Street has almost finished its refurbishment, with 15,000 sqm of space soon to be available.
- The buildings at 2-4 Grantham Street, known as “151 Victoria Street West”, “NZME Central” and various other names, are now complete. 17,600 square metres (sqm) of office space, developed by Mansons TCLM.
- One Mill Lane fell by the wayside, and is up for sale by its owners, Mansons TCLM. It could potentially become apartments, but it all depends on what the new buyer wants to do with it.
- Commercial Bay, aka the Downtown Shopping Centre site, is underway, and will add 35,000 sqm of office space in early 2019. The developer is Precinct Properties.
- Precinct is also developing 48,000 sqm of office space across five buildings in Wynyard quarter, with the first stage of 12,000 sqm underway.
- Mansons TCLM are developing 10 Sale Street, with 10,000 sqm of space.
- Goodman are developing 40,000 sqm across several buildings at the southern end of Wynyard Quarter – Fonterra and Bayleys, both finished, and Datacom, due for completion next year.
All up, that’s a whopping 166,000 sqm completed, underway or planned for the next few years, enough space to accommodate at least 13,000 workers (based on Colliers metrics).
Another factor in the city centre, and not as prevalent elsewhere, is older office buildings being converted to other uses – apartments, accommodation or education. As such, the ‘total’ amount of office space won’t increase as much as the figures above suggest.
In August, Mansons TCLM launched a new project in Newmarket, currently known as “33 Broadway” although it will most likely be given another name when it’s finished. A lot goes on behind the scenes – by the time the building was announced in the Herald, Mansons were just about ready to begin construction.
Mercury Energy was already signed up for two-thirds of the space, and the shops in the existing buildings were getting ready to close. Demolition is now underway. The Herald article mentioned that there was 4,600 sqm of space left to lease, which makes the building sound a bit smaller than it is – it’s close to 12,000 sqm all up. That makes it the second largest office building in Newmarket, if I’m not mistaken (Watercare House, also built by Mansons TCLM a few years ago, is a little bigger).
At Sylvia Park, a new office building is just getting underway, with new headquarters for IAG. This is significant in that it’s the first office building at Sylvia Park – in fact, just about the first office building to be built within a ‘shopping centre’ in NZ. This is quite common overseas, and Sylvia Park in particular is poised to become more of a mixed-use hub. The new building is around 12,000 sqm, so a pretty sizeable development.
In the ‘St Georges Bay Rd’ part of Parnell, another major building is underway: 10,400 sqm, and again it’s by Mansons TCLM (as you will have seen, this name comes up a lot in office development!).
Smales Farm is also significant – new headquarters for Vodafone coming in at around 10,000 sqm, and of course the office park still has plenty of room to grow.
There’s also a bit happening at Albany, Highbrook and Auckland Airport, and in the “Southern Corridor” (Great South Rd in the Ellerslie/ Penrose area).
Looking at building consents across the various Auckland wards, 42% of office floor space is being created in the Waitemata & Gulf ward (which includes the city centre). That share rises to 51% when looking at the figures by dollar value.
* Figures for Jan 2011- Jul 2016 inclusive, essentially the entire period since council amalgamation
One key shift in recent years has been buildings with large floor plates (i.e. large sites with mid-rise buildings, rather than narrow towers). Many of the new buildings also have Green Star ratings.
In terms of location, most new offices are going up where there’s good ‘rapid transit’ access – the city centre obviously has this in spades, but Newmarket, Smales Farm and even Ellerslie all have their own high-quality public transport links. This will only become more important in the future: it’s about accessibility.