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Scramble for high quality space in Porirua

Scramble for high quality space in Porirua

This multi-level tower building perfectly situated in the heart of Porirua has not been on the market more than six months, and already 1 Walton Leigh Avenue is fully leased.

This rapid scramble for office space is not at all surprising considering JLL’s recent single digit vacancy survey results. The analysis revealed that vacancy levels across Wellington’s office market are down to single digits for the first time since early 2011. Office tenants, who had previously deferred moving, are now looking to move away from buildings perceived to be earthquake prone and engaging landlords for higher quality space.

1 Walton Leigh Avenue, previous home to The Ministry of Defence, is about to undergo a major refurbishment making it a very attractive office space to come to the market and instantly saw a huge amount of interest from local businesses.

Stu Turnbull, Senior Broker for Commercial Leasing and Sales at JLL and who is also the Master Agent says, “This was a particularly unique opportunity to appear on the market. The building itself is seismically strong with the weakest point currently rated at 71% of the New Building Standard (NBS) and the remainder of the building at 85%. As a result, it is the strongest and safest office tower in Porirua and one of the main reasons it was so quickly snapped up”.

The ex Ministry of Defence space is now to be occupied by the Electoral Commission, BUPA Care Services, Catalyst IT and Compass Health.

Stu Turnbull continues, “Over the six month period, we had a number of interested parties, from multi nationals to government agencies and local businesses who were conscious of providing a safe and sound place of work for the staff. Taking advantage of the redundancies this building provides, these companies have ensured a very good chance of business continuation even in the event of a major earthquake. The Landlord is aware of this, and has worked closely with all new Tenants to facilitate the upcoming transitions. We even have Tenants in negotiation for when some of the recently leased space becomes available again”.

Steve Rodgers, National Director of Leasing at JLL, states, “There has been a general migration towards high seismically rated buildings, particularly since the recent swarm of earthquakes. Keeping tenants abreast of the seismically sound options available has kept our agents very busy. This building not only represented an excellent opportunity for large occupiers to take advantage of the large floor plates and a high seismic rating, but also a building which is likely to be in a location well outside any possible CBD “Red Zone” should a significant event occur. This proves vital for business continuity.”

These tenants have seized the opportunity to secure property that not only suits their needs but also provides them with seismic reassurance. The earthquakes have strongly influenced tenants to make swift decisions and move towards better quality office space.

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