Tower for sale in Auckland’s Learning Quarter

5:00 AM Saturday March 25, 2017 Colin Taylor

The 16-level tower at 7 City Rd is within Auckland’s education precinct. Photo / Supplied

A 16-level tower at the heart of Auckland’s education precinct is being marketed for sale as a solid passive investment with good redevelopment potential under the Unitary Plan.

“The tower is strategically located in an area known as The Learning Quarter on the edge of the CBD,” says Tony Allsop of Colliers International who, with colleague Jonathan Lynch, has a sole agency to sell 7 City Rd, Grafton, via tenders closing on Thursday, April 13.

Allsop says the 6662sq m office building, on a freehold site of about 2500sq m, is opposite the Langham Hotel and has 12 levels of office space comprising 468sq m floor plates.

Ten levels of office floors are above two levels of podium office accommodation while the four basement levels contain 134 secure carparks.

The building is 93 per cent leased and is generating $1,770,000 in annual rent with interest being shown by a potential tenant in one level which is vacant.

Key tenants include iNet, Coffey Projects, Receivables Management, Dow Chemicals, Datum Connect and Carter Atmore Law.

“The building is understood to be designed by Sinclair Jones Architects and was completed in 1987 as part of a comprehensive development incorporating the adjoining building at 67 Symonds St,” Allsop says.

The main entrance is on City Road, which runs between Symonds St and Queen St, while access to the carpark is through an adjoining Symonds St property.

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

Access to the upper floors is via three lifts which were refurbished last year and through a second set of automatic glass doors at the north of the foyer leading 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 gives 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.

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

Lynch says the precinct is home to numerous student apartment blocks and private tertiary providers, and is close to two of New Zealand’s top universities.

“It is a short walk from AUT and midway between the University of Auckland’s city and Grafton campuses. 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,” Lynch says.

“Developers looking to capitalise on the location’s potential could open it up to a mix of office, retail, residential and educational uses while drawing a good holding income from the current rent returns.”

Lynch says the upper floors of the tower offer excellent views over the Auckland CBD and of the Sky Tower.

“It’s in the wider Symonds Street ridge area, close to K’ Road and the wider CBD in an area where a number of student-dedicated apartment blocks have been developed in recent years, including Carlaw Park Student Village, Unilodge and 55 Symonds St.

“The property is within easy walking distance to Queen and Symonds streets, both of which are main bus routes, and have easy access to Auckland’s motorway network.”

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Jonathan Lynch and Tony Allsop, Colliers International.