Home > About > News > EPA first to put hand up for space in ANZ Tower

EPA first to put hand up for space in ANZ Tower

13 December 2011. Source: Fairfax NZ News
EPA Interior 2

The newly established Environmental Protection Authority is planning to move out of its present earthquake-prone offices in Featherston St and has signed up to lease five floors in the ANZ Tower in Lambton Quay.

The agency was formed in July to bring together the management of hazardous substances and new organisms, the administration of nationally significant proposals under the Resource Management Act and the administration of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

It includes the former Environmental Risk Management Authority and parts of the Environment and Economic Development ministries. It is also the proposed consenting authority for activities on New Zealand's continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone.

The agency's 160 staff are now housed in just over 2600 square metres of office space on three and a half floors in BP House in Featherston St, in a building which is classified as earthquake prone.

EPA spokeswoman Vanessa Hetherington said it wanted offices that were close to related government agencies. It also looked at earthquake ratings, as well as value for money.

It will lease 3000sqm of office space on levels 5 to 10 of the mirror-glassed ANZ Tower and expects to move in the middle of next year.

The EPA is the first new tenant to confirm it is taking space in the near vacant 15-storey block. ANZ has vacated most of the building in the past couple of years and its lease on the ground-floor banking chamber and other floors expires next year.

The building, which fronts on to Lambton Quay, Featherston and Grey streets was sold by AXA to Wellington property development company Willis Bond for $25 million earlier this year.

Willis Bond managing director Mark McGuinness said there was strong interest from other prospective tenants. Its foundations were on rock and even today the tower was still better than 100 per cent of the seismic code.

There were few other buildings at the same price point in that location that met that standard.

McGuinness said a confidentiality clause precluded him from talking about the EPA lease deal, but refurbished office space was available for $350 to $400 gross a square metre, although the upper floors were more than $400 a sqm. Work had started on a $5m to$10m upgrade of the building, including new lifts, a new air-conditioning system and new carpets. This work should be done by the middle of next year.

Willis Bond is also in discussions with the Wellington City Council about a possible revamp of the public toilets on the ground floor corner of Featherston St and Lambton Quay. The toilets may be moved, but McGuinness said there was no question that public toilets would still be provided.