BizDojo moves into capital’s ‘tech precinct’

6:44 PM Tuesday May 30, 2017 Colin Taylor

Space formerly occupied by NZX-listed accounting software company Xero in Xero House at 3 Market Lane, Wellington will be taken over by co-working business, BizDojo. Photo / Supplied

Co-working space provider and business company BizDojo is leasing space in Wellington now occupied by NZX-listed cloud accounting software giant Xero when it vacates Xero House in Market Lane later this year.

The assignment-of-lease transaction of Xero House was brokered by Luke Frecklington and Luke Kershaw of Bayleys Wellington.

Xero will become anchor tenant in the nearby former Manthel Motors heritage building on the corner of Taranaki and Wakefield Sts, which is being redeveloped by The Wellington Company.

Nathan McLean, Xero’s global facilities’ manager, says the Market Lane building – which was built in 1918 and was previously home to the Rialto Cinema – has served the company well since 2012 when it was envisioned to be Xero’s long-term home.

“However, a significant capital injection soon after our move to Market Lane and the subsequent ramping up of growth within the company, has driven our head count up and we simply outgrew Xero House,” says McLean - adding that Xero currently has staff across three buildings in the CBD.

BizDojo, which has operations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and will soon have a presence in Queenstown, will take on naming rights for the high-profile Market Lane building and occupy almost 2000sq m of space over three levels.

BizDojo co-founder Nick Shewring, says the company looks forward to consolidating its Wellington operation in Xero’s wake.

“Our business community is excited at the prospect of moving into a building which has scale, history, accessibility and seismic integrity. We’ll be making some aesthetic changes to the space to ‘Dojo-fy’ it, by building on the sound interior bones created by Xero,” says Shewring.

“BizDojo is all about bringing our resident business community together and creating ‘collision’ opportunities to encourage networking and collaborative thought – so there are some innovative changes afoot.”

Shewring says BizDojo would normally look at leasing a building with even larger floor plates however, Xero House was a proposition too good to pass up.

“There’s value in us being shoulder-to-shoulder with high-growth businesses like Trade Me, Xero and NZX in an area which is becoming a real tech’ precinct,” he says.

Shewring says the Market Lane premises should function well for the company for “the next 10 years, at least” and his team will be looking to leverage longevity from that space.

“That said, we’re also actively pursuing other locations around Wellington and will be looking to triple our business footprint in the city within the next couple of years.”

Frecklington says by the time Xero vacates, there will be just over three years remaining on the initial lease term at Xero House with BizDojo having further rights of renewal through until 2027.

“This building provided a large-scale leasing opportunity for the Wellington market and had long lead in times to seek out the right tenant for the space ahead of Xero’s relocation,” says Frecklington.

“Most of the tenant interest received by Bayleys came from the IT, web design and creative sectors as they saw a synergy with other tenants in the building and in the general vicinity. However, most of these prospective tenants did not have the scale to commit to the whole offering and the space is not conducive to splitting up into minor tenancies.”

Frecklington says the IT and creative sectors of Wellington’s business community are increasingly looking for property leasing opportunities close to the waterfront.

“There’s been a shift happening for a while now and BizDojo’s commitment serves to strengthen this wave of interest,” he says.