Wellington tower ready for redevelopment

6:41 PM Friday May 24, 2019 True Commercial

The 14-level office tower building at 13-27 Manners St, Wellington (centre) is largely vacant. Photo / Supplied

A shortage of available Wellington CBD development land, coupled with the low vacancy rates, is expected to fuel interest in largely vacant ‘as-is where-is’ 14-level office tower.

“This is probably the best redevelopment opportunity in Wellington this year,” says Michelle Chadwick of Colliers International who, with Wellington colleagues Richard Findlay and Sam McIlroy, is marketing 13-27 Manners St for sale by deadline private treaty closing 4pm Wednesday June 12.

“Structured in three stratum freehold titles, the property has never previously been offered in its entirety since it was constructed in 1998,” Chadwick says.

The building sits on 1568sq m of land, with a net lettable area of 10,447sq m and is within the Central Area zone of the Wellington City Council District Plan.

The zoning permits maximum building height on the site of 80m above mean ground level and provides for a wide range of activities including commercial, leisure, high-density residential, tourist, cultural, community and civic services. 

Designed by Athfield Architects, the office tower has a wide retail frontage to Manners St, and encompasses eight shops, five apartments on the first-floor podium with separate access, and basement parking for 33 cars.

“Being largely vacant, the property is ready for redevelopment,” Chadwick says. “There are currently leases in place allowing time for a potential conversion to refurbished office, hotel or residential use.

“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.

“This is an ideal add-value opportunity that is likely to benefit from Wellington’s low commercial office vacancy and high demand for accommodation.”

Chadwick says record low vacancy across all the key Wellington commercial property sectors is driving down yields and pushing up rents.

“With hills on one side of Wellington City and the harbour on the other side, investors see a captive and geographically constrained investment pool in the capital’s CBD,” says Chadwick.

“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.”