Work from work notion driving demand

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It’s perhaps a novel idea after the years of disruption we’ve seen globally, but it’s time for people to “work from work” and get back to the office.

This is underpinning workplace movement in and around the main centres as large occupiers firm-up space requirements and recalibrate to get their teams’ feet under desks in the CBDs once more.

Matt Lamb, Bayleys national director office leasing said significant commitments have already been made by many big occupiers in Auckland, like Spark recently signing up to Mansons new Fifty Albert development, and Beca securing space in Precinct’s new Wynyard Quarter Innovation office development.

With new occupiers entering the market and other established parties starting to show their hand for large tracts of office footprint, the market remains active and vacancy is low.

“Expect to see some big movement by major corporates in the next couple of years as they look to occupy fit-for-purpose space with the benefit of a blank canvas to configure layouts in-line with corporate goals and changing staff demands,” he said.

“This will free up floor plates in the buildings they intend vacating – which leads to opportunity for other occupiers and a chance for landlords to upgrade space to meet new expectations around sustainability, amenity and location.”

Lamb said there are still great opportunities available for proactive occupiers seeking large floor plates within well-located properties that prioritise ESG principles and offer comprehensive amenities for staff.

“Engaging with the Bayleys leasing team early will pay off for any occupier considering a move in the Auckland CBD as we are across all upcoming space and landlord timelines.”

Bayleys Wellington office leasing specialist Luke Frecklington said there are some reasonable-sized deals being done for large space in the CBD and while vacancy is low, with many buildings undergoing seismic upgrade and refurbishment, there are some good opportunities available.

“As some of the high-profile occupiers start to vacate existing office space for pre-committed new builds, there will be further large tracts come to the market for lease,” he said.

“There’s been quite a lot of activity and there’s more to come as the capital is seeing some really encouraging business growth.

“Hnry, the accounting software company, is an example of a business that is on the march, and they’ve signed up for large office space for their growing team within the former David Jones building on Lambton Quay.”

Frecklington understands that the new building under development for BNZ in Whitmore Street will have some floors for sublease, and, when the bank does relocate on building completion, high quality space in the three different buildings they currently occupy will become available to back-fill.

There’s a shortage of large office floor plates in Christchurch according to William Wallace, Bayleys general manager South Island commercial and industrial.

“How and where we grow the Christchurch office market is a big discussion point and we’d expect to see city fringe areas like Sydenham and Philipstown regenerate on the back of locational advantages, capacity for carparking, and emergence of the new Te Kaha multi-use arena,” he said.

“In the CBD, there’s still a pipeline of planned work to be delivered but for developers, it’s the perennial cost versus reward dilemma.

“We’re seeing some movement around the city by a few of the big law firms and there’s a bit of space coming up on the sublease market – such as in the Vodafone building within the Innovation Precinct.”

Wallace said the flight to quality, underpinned by growing ESG awareness and desirability of sustainability ratings like NABERSNZ, continues unabated in the Christchurch market – as it does around all of the main centres.

Related: Making an office fit-for-purpose

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