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Lumley Centre for Sale

Lumley Centre for Sale

One of Auckland’s largest premium grade office towers, the Lumley Centre, is being offered for sale via a public expression of interest campaign jointly run by JLL and Knight Frank.

New Zealand’s CBD located premium and A-grade office towers are back on the radar for both listed and unlisted local and offshore property investors. This increase in interest has led to a recent growth in sale transaction volumes in the Asia Pacific markets, which are now back to pre-GFC levels. This is a unique opportunity to acquire a landmark institutional-grade asset as demand for product ramps up post the recent global financial crisis.

Nick Hargreaves, Managing Director of JLL NZ said, “Assets of this nature are extremely scarce, with only three other premium towers in Auckland. This is a time when globally, high quality assets are readily sought after. Lumley Centre is a rarely seen opportunity and the chance to own a property of this nature is not to be missed.”

The outlook for the local office sector has improved of late, with increasingly positive economic signals supporting the growing local economy, Auckland’s infrastructure upgrades taking shape and low vacancy rates of 4.1% for premium stock.

Nick Hargreaves goes on to say, “This will drive the need for office space, a commodity which is currently in short supply. As a result, there will be the opportunity to capitalise on strengthening property market fundamentals and a limited supply pipeline, resulting in significant rental growth.”

JLL has gone on the record to predict that future time-weighted premium-grade office rents will exceed their current levels by 30% at the top of the cycle which has only just recently begun to turn. Such bold predictions may give bidders confidence when lodging their indicative offers due on Thursday 5th June.

Richard Horne, Managing Director of Knight Frank’s NSW Australia operation remarked “Due to the scarcity of supply, premium grade properties seldom transact in the Auckland market. We know this property will generate strong interest from both domestic and off-shore buyers due to its size, modern nature, exceptional location and views, secure lease profile and the ability to provide investors with one of the best buildings in New Zealand.”

The property is located at 88 Shortland Street and has an elevated position in the heart of Auckland’s Central Business District with uninterrupted views over the Hauraki Gulf, Waitemata Harbour and surrounds. Its neighbourhood provides high quality shopping and entertainment in the Downtown precinct and on Queen and High Street, is close to the recently redeveloped Waterfront and Britomart which is a popular bar and eatery destination and has strong public transport infrastructure via rail, bus and ferry for the predominantly service orientated office workers that commute to the Lumley Centre each workday.

The Lumley Centre was completed in 2005 by Mansons TCLM Limited and was designed by the award-winning contemporary architect Peddle Thorpe Aitken whose other major local creations include Zurich House, Westpac Charter House and the Downtown Master Plan. The building has 29 floors of highly specified interiors with an abundance of natural light that radiates from the distinctive and energy efficient double glazed blue glass with low-e coating. This distinctive architectural feature provides a great office ambiance with panoramic views that motivates and inspires tenants while they work. The building currently enjoys a 94% occupancy level and a long 7.7 year weighted average lease expiry profile of predominantly blue-chip services orientated corporates including Simpson Grierson, Macquarie Group, Lumley General Insurance and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.

The 19,479m² office complex has dual street access from Shortland and Fort Street, has 6 floors of subterranean parking and a gymnasium with showering and personal storage facilities. The floors are approximately 1,300m² floor plates which are free from obstructions with a centrally located lift and services core. The two top floors include external decking for client entertainment taking advantage of the wide and far-reaching views.

Horne goes on to say “There is a strong appetite amongst the domestic and offshore buyers for assets of this quality. We have seen other prime properties achieving IRR’s in the region of 9%. We would therefore expect this high quality asset to beat this historic pricing profile.”

An independent Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP) has rated the building of A+ seismic strength with a rating of 100% of the New Building Standards (NBS).
Auckland is experiencing strong economic and population growth forecast to continue well into the future. Over the long-term the city will see the completion of gamechanging infrastructure projects such as the City Rail Link light-rail, unprecedented urban renewal and the implementation of a citywide plan that will enable intensification.

Lumley Centre will likely appeal to a very broad range of investors including domestic institutions, major private investment groups and offshore privates and institutions. Reflecting the lack of comparable premium grade investment opportunities on the market and the current investor demand, it can be expected that this will be a record sale for New Zealand.

Heading up the JLL team is Nick Hargreaves, Managing Director of New Zealand. Knight Frank’s team will be led by Managing Director of NSW Australia, Richard Horne, working closely with Layne Harwood in New Zealand.

– ends –

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