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BNZ to revitalise downtown Auckland

10 May 2006

Bank of New Zealand to revitalise downtown Auckland – renewed life for Jean Batten Departmental Building

Multiplex today lodged application with Auckland City Council for consent to build new corporate premises for Bank of New Zealand. The proposed development will occupy the site in downtown Auckland bordered by Queen Street, Shortland Street, Fort Street and Jean Batten Place.

The development proposal includes the integration and restoration of the Jean Batten Departmental Building following agreement on the proposed design with New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT). The developer is Multiplex Developments (NZ) Ltd.

Bruce Stockwell, Bank of New Zealand spokesperson, says agreement between the Bank, Multiplex and NZHPT is a positive step in securing a new life for the historic building, and paves the way for a new contemporary office tower highly suited to Auckland’s financial precinct.

Agreement on the future of the site concludes months of consultation between Council and the parties and brings to an end the moratorium previously agreed between Council and Bank of New Zealand.

The proposed development:

- High quality redevelopment of a prime CBD site
- Integrates Jean Batten Departmental Building into a modern, sustainable building which retains Jean Batten Departmental Building’s distinctive street presence
- Recognises Jean Batten Departmental Building as an important part of the City’s historical, pedestrian and retail precinct
- Preserves the identity and streetscape presence of the building
- Extends the High Street retail complex to include Shortland Street, Fort Street and Jean Batten Place
- Activates all street frontages, bringing new life to a neglected city block

The development, designed to comply with the District Plan, is highly complementary to the urban design aims of the City and has been endorsed by an Urban Design Panel committee chaired by Gordon Moller.

“Bank of New Zealand and developer Multiplex have worked closely with NZHPT and Council to preserve the building’s heritage value for the benefit of Auckland City,” says Mayor Dick Hubbard. “This is a win for the City, heritage interests and Auckland’s corporate future, bringing new life to an otherwise tired city block and downtown Queen Street.”

“We have had a very constructive working relationship with BNZ and Multiplex over the past months, working through options for retention of the Jean Batten Departmental Building into the new development. We are positive about the outcome. The design now includes the Jean Batten Departmental Building as a significant and iconic feature of the new development, while Bank of New Zealand and Multiplex are committed to preserving and protecting the building in perpetuity by way of a Heritage Covenant,” says Sherry Reynolds, the Historic Places Trust’s General Manager Northern.

Work is due to commence in July 2006 subject to consent approval.

“The project will be a magnificent addition to Auckland’s CBD and complements other urban planning initiatives,” says Peter Wall, Multiplex Managing Director, Property, NZ.

ENDS

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