Space for lease over new born Snickel Lane

10:26 PM Tuesday January 30, 2018 Colin Taylor

Newly-created Snickel Lane at 23 Customs St features award-winning art by a final-year student at Elam School of Fine Arts. Photo / Supplied

The redevelopment of the ground floor of the Citigroup Centre at 23 Customs St, Auckland, has seen three big ground tenancies replaced by an interesting mix of 13 varied tenancies.

A podium level on the southern side of the building, previously used for parking, has been demolished and replaced by a covered, cobbled laneway called Snickel Lane which runs between Commerce Street and Fort Lane.   

The name comes from Snickelways of York, a collection of lanes between buildings, not wide enough for a vehicle to pass down, in the northern English city. 

Building owner, NZX listed Argosy Property Ltd, which is also undertaking a major upgrade and modernisation of the Citigroup Centre’s 14 office floors above, began the property’s makeover with the total reconfiguration of its street level retail and food and beverage properties

The distinctive, rectangular shaped CBD building, with its pillared penthouse deck on a north-facing corner site between Commerce St and Fort Lane, has been home to high-profile tenants for many years, including multinational investment banking company Citigroup, the American Embassy, Thai Airways, Ticketmaster and Kiwibank.

Altezano Brothers espresso coffee bar was Snickel Lane’s first tenant, with a serving counter also on Commerce St. It has subsequently been joined by a variety of other food and beverage outlets, offering all day dining and takeaway options; along with a florist. 

Argosy partnered up with the Elam School of Fine Arts to run an annual competition for final year students to design art work for the lane. 

“We wanted Snickel Lane to be a bit different and edgy and provide an opportunity for young artistic talent that will result in a constantly changing street art perspective,” says Argosy asset manager Warren Cate.  

“Snickel Lane is positioned adjacent to Imperial Lane on the other side of Fort Lane which means there is now easy and interesting laneway access between Commerce St and Queen St. The building’s recently refurbished and modernised office tower foyer also provides direct access to Snickel Lane which is a great area for tenants to socialise or meet with clients in a less formal environment.” 

Argosy is now undertaking an extensive, progressive refurbishment of the north-facing office floors above, some of which are for featured for lease in Bayleys’ recently released Workplace magazine.

Bayleys’ office leasing agent Andre Siegert says each of the four floors for lease, which include two contiguous floors, offers just over 650sq m of space. One half floor is also available on Level 14 with exceptional harbour views.   

“The extensively glazed floors soak up plenty of natural light, with wide ranging city and harbour views, and are well serviced by three lifts. Their conventional, rectangular shape means they could accommodate up to 60 people at a ratio of around one employee per 10sq m. Level 13 also comes with a 27sq m balcony with views over the Auckland Ferry Building to the harbour and beyond,” says Siegert

“Floors are available for immediate fit-out and occupation, one offering more contemporary-styled accommodation with exposed building services and polished concrete flooring. The others provide a more traditional look with carpet tiles and acoustic ceiling panelling covering the building services.”

Features of the office space refurbishment include:

  •                      new fresh air supply and upgraded Variable Air Volume (VAV) heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, with 10 zones per floor allowing for variable air flow; 
  •                      efficient low energy (LED) lighting to minimise energy usage and maximise bulb longevity;
  •                      intelligent floor electricity metering;
  •                      a waste removal management programme; and
  •                      end of trip facility with new basement bike rack and shower facilities. 

The newly refurbished floors are being designed and renovated within a Green Star and NABERSNZ (National Australian Built Environment Rating System NZ) energy efficiency framework, says Warren Cate. “We are targeting a four-star NABERSNZ Base Building rating which will reduce operating costs for tenants”  

Bayleys’ office leasing agent Brendan Graves says the Citigroup Centre is in a prime position for public transport access, being a short walk from the Britomart Transport Centre and Auckland Ferry Terminal. 

“Its central location is easily accessible from all directions, with all motorway connections being less than two kilometres away. There’s also good carparking available in the basement as well as on two floors which Argosy owns in a neighbouring parking building.

“In addition to numerous nearby food and beverage options, there are childcare facilities and a Les Mills Gym within three minutes’ walk.”