All new heights for sky-high AKL office

10:00 AM Wednesday May 20, 2015 Anne Gibson

Artist's drawings of the rooftop deck for the new building between Wyndham St and Mills Lane. Photo / Mansons TCLM

Developer planning 30-level office tower, 125-room hotel and luxury brand shops on NZME. site.

New Zealand's tallest new office tower, the $675 million 1 Mills Lane, is planned for the NZME. site in Auckland's CBD.

Culum Manson, a director of real estate developers and investors Mansons TCLM, today announced the plans for the 190m-tall block between Albert, Wyndham and Swanson Sts and Mills Lane.

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Artist's drawings of the planned courtyard for the new building between Wyndham St and Mills Lane. Photo / Mansons TCLM

The block will include a 30-level tower for 4000 workers, a 125-room hotel, up to 10 luxury brand shops, a new garden penthouse viewing floor, a lower level garden floor and a 45m architectural feature at the top.

The NZME. site is leased to the Herald, which has been in the area since 1863 but in November is moving to Manson's new office block at 151 Victoria St West.

"We now have demolition consent and we are looking to commence demolition of the old Herald buildings when the site is vacant," Manson said.

The plan was for the Herald to move off-site at the end of the year to its new building.

"Our team is working closely with Auckland Council and receiving input from the Urban Design Panel.

"We are looking at achieving a final resource consented development design by October this year. This will be Auckland's next premium office tower with a completion date of December 2018 and an end value of $675 million including the hotel."

Last year, Mansons bought the site for about $45 million and gave architect Patrick Clifford of Architectus the contract to design the tower.

Although it will only be 30 levels high, it will exceed the height of Shortland St's Vero, Culum Manson said.

"It will be higher than Vero because each floor we build will have more height and the 3.2m internal stud will be the highest floor-to-ceilings on offer in a tower in New Zealand."

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The core services area, housing lifts, the stairwell and other services, would be offset to the Wyndham St side, giving unimpeded waterfront views.

About 300 carparks will be on the site but a further 1000 carparks will be offered to tenants within a two to five-minute walk.

"This will have highly efficient floor plates with an offset core and easy-to-provide interconnecting stairs for tenants. Two garden floors will be built, one at mid-level and a roof-top garden and outlook area. This is based on the Architectus design for 1 Bligh St in Sydney," Manson said.

"The development will have the generous public Mills Square overlooked by the plaza as well as inter-connecting pedestrian lane-ways with retail. Mills Square will be the main lobby for the office building and hotel as well as providing retail along the lane."

A three-level lobby opening out on to Mills Lane and the new Mills Square will be the main entranceway into the office tower, which Manson said would be "a 30-second walk off Queen St".

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Culum Manson, a director of real estate developers and investors Mansons TCLM. Photo / Dean Purcell

Mills Square will be paved and landscaped. It aims to bring life to an area which currently has little public appeal and is used as a supermarket loading bay and carpark accessway.

Tania Loveridge, Heart of the City centre manager, said she was thrilled to hear of the new square.

"Mills Lane is untapped, not really regarded as a place people would want to hang out. But this will change that. It's wonderful.

"More people space is critical and on the western side of Queen St, there's St Patrick's Square but this will really add to that.

"It will bring a connectivity and make the area so much more people friendly and more of people space," she said.

Manson said many tenant leases were due to expire in 2018 and 2019. "People looking for space include merchant bankers, lawyers, accountants and professional services."