‘Trophy tower’ for sale in Wellington CBD

5:00 AM Saturday August 19, 2017 True Commercial

The 16-floor Todd Building, at 95 Customhouse Quay, Wellington CBD. Photo / Supplied

Brokers say a waterfront tower in the heart of Wellington’s central business district offers the chance to acquire a trophy real estate offering.

The Todd Building occupies a ‘dress circle’ spot on the corner of Customhouse Quay, Hunter St and Post Office Square and is home to several well-known corporations including Todd Energy, Oracle and Kiwibank.

The property – featured in the latest Colliers Portfolio – is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 3pm on September 13 through exclusive agents Michelle Chadwick and Jim Pinson of Colliers International.

With a collection of big-name office and retail tenants across 16 floors, the 8770sq m tower, constructed in 1988, makes for an impressive investment proposition, says Chadwick.

“This flagship building offers a highly desirable investment package,” she says.

“It’s just a short stroll to Wellington’s ‘golden mile’ of Lambton Quay and has some of the best panoramic views in Wellington over the harbour, city and town belt. So it’s no surprise that several well-known national and international corporate tenants are headquartered in the building.”

Designed by architects Craig Craig Moller, the Todd Building at 95 Customhouse Quay shares an island site with its sister building (the ASB Tower) and the Huddart Parker Building. The site has two street frontages, including one on busy Customhouse Quay.

All the office floors, along with the expansive entrance foyer, have been refurbished in recent years and the building has a seismic rating of 75 per cent of new building standard (NBS).

These factors, along with the diverse range of tenants and the current high demand in the office market, make it a truly exceptional offering, Pinson says.

“Buildings located on the waterfront have some of the highest occupancies and rentals in the Wellington CBD office market and are always in demand among tenants.”

Office space is in acutely short supply in the Wellington CBD following the November 2016 earthquake, Pinson adds.

“With office space so scarce there has never been a better time to be a central city landlord. Tenant demand is going through the roof and rents are rising as a result.”

Office vacancy remains extremely low following the loss of nearly 100,000sq m of office space from the market since the November 2016 earthquake.

At the same time, demand from tenants looking to move to better-quality buildings with improved seismic resilience remains high, resulting in a tight squeeze on the central city’s office market, he says.

Along with Todd, Oracle and Kiwibank, several other corporate occupiers call the property home, including Annuitas Management, Gas Industry Company, Assurity Consulting, Terrace Services and Hobson Wealth.

Four ground floor retail units are leased to House of Travel, Wishbone, Associated Radio (a Bose store) and Heartland Bank, says Chadwick.

“For investors looking for stability and diversity of income, this investment offers a great collection of reputable local and international tenants,” she says.

“The building’s location and presentation also make it well positioned to compete for office tenants in the future. Investment opportunities of this quality and location are exceptionally rare.”

The north facing building sits on a 1268sq m site on a perpetually-renewable 21-year ground lease to Wellington City Council.

The building generates a current net passing annual income of around $2,186,000, although Chadwick says potential exists to lift the income further.

All the office floors have good natural light and the upper levels offer stunning harbour views. Sixty basement car parks are included and the building is serviced by four lifts.

The building’s position means all central city amenities and transport links are a stone’s throw away, says Pinson.

“Customhouse Quay provides exceptional transport access directly to State Highway 1 and the Wellington railway and bus stations are within a kilometre, as well as the harbour ferry at Queens Wharf which provides an alternative option for commuters to Eastbourne, Petone and the eastern bays.”

Positioned diagonally opposite the Intercontinental Hotel, the building is also immediately accessible to a wide range of retail outlets including the David Jones department store, specialty boutiques, cafes and restaurants.