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Pressure on Wellington CBD tipped to fuel interest in Manners St office tower

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Record low vacancy rates across all the key Wellington commercial property sectors is driving down yields and pushing up rents.

With hills on one side and the harbour on the other, investors see a captive and geographically constrained investment pool in the capital’s CBD, says Michelle Chadwick, an investment broker with Colliers International in Wellington.

"The office market, in particular, is undergoing a significant transformation towards better quality, seismically resilient new buildings, or major investment in existing stock to strengthen and improve quality."

The shortage of available CBD development land, coupled with the low vacancy rates, is expected to fuel interest in an ‘as is where is’ office tower at 13-27 Manners Street being sold by deadline private treaty, closing 4pm, June 12. Chadwick is marketing the property in conjunction with Colliers’ Wellington managing director Richard Findlay and associate director Sam McIlroy.

Structured in three stratum freehold titles, the largely vacant 14 level building has never previously been offered in its entirety since it was constructed in 1998. The building sits on 1568sq m of land, with a net lettable area of 10,447sq m. Designed by Athfield Architects, it currently comprises a 14-level office tower with a wide retail frontage to Manners St, including eight shops, five apartments on the first-floor podium with separate access, and basement parking for 33 cars. The office tower is largely vacant and ready for redevelopment. There are currently leases in place allowing time for a potential conversion to refurbished office, hotel or residential use.

"This is probably the best redevelopment opportunity this year. Current low office vacancy rates, rising office rents, residential demand and a scarcity of hotels over 200 rooms in the Wellington region makes for plenty of repositioning options. We expect this property will be highly sought after by developers in Wellington, nationally and possibly overseas, Chadwick says.

"This is a genuine add-value opportunity to benefit from Wellington’s low commercial office vacancy and/or high demand for accommodation."

The property is located within the Central Area zone of the Wellington City Council District Plan.

The zone provides for a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, high-density residential, tourist, cultural, community and civic services. The maximum building height on this site is 80

metres above mean ground level.

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