Christchurch offices depleted but plans afoot

Christchurch’s central city office stock has reduced by more than half since the 2011 earthquakes.

Colliers valuer Gary Sellars gave his state of the nation speech at a recent Property Council forum and noted a handful of recent sales.

HSBC House at 62 Worcester Boulevard was sold in May by Latitude Group to a company owned by Richard Sissons and Jacqui Lowe for $26 million on a yield of 10.99%.

Press House in Cathedral Square was sold by Ganellen Group in June to Cristo, a company owned by Richard and Stephen Bell, for just over $19 million on a yield of 8.74%.

The 2010 central city office stock of 446,002sq m, has fallen to 188,978sq m, of which just 56,525sq m is tenanted.

There is still uncertainty about the fate of the Forsyth Barr and IRD buildings.

A handful of buildings account for those that are tenanted, including the Civic building and HSBC House in Worcester Boulevard, Press House and some low-rise buildings in Victoria St, the northern gateway to the central city business district.

Most new office buildings (12,237sq m) have gone up in the suburbs of Burnside, Addington and Riccarton while another 41,234sq m has been confirmed and 7600sq m proposed for these areas.

In the central business district there has been 5683sq m built since 2011, 34676sq m confirmed and 159,850sq m proposed.

Asking rents of proposed buildings are $400/m2 to $450/m2 (Auckland prime rents are $530/m2 and Wellington $425/m2).

This compares with the demolished PricewaterhouseCoopers Centre in Madras St, where rents were $270/m2 and the recently-completed HSBC House at $350/m2.

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