Business

Four hundred Chorus staff to leave Wyndham St for top level, BDO House

A large Auckland telco corporate will move offices early next year.

The Auckland branch of Wellington-headquartered Chorus will move about 400 staff from Chorus House on Wyndham St towards the western CBD precinct at BDO House, 2 Graham St.

A spokesman said staff had been told about the move but not date had yet been confirmed.

Chorus has taken a new sub-lease the top floor or level five of the Graham St premises, managed by Bayleys and owned by a syndicate administered by Centuria NZ, which is owned by the ASX listed Centuria Group.

The Chorus spokesman said Covid had certainly delayed plans for the shift but also for practical measures like the internal fit-out of the new space.

Since 2004, a business that had some ties with what is today Chorus had leased space within the high-rise office tower at 66 Wyndham St, he said.

Wang Computers had been there from around that time, then Gen-i, Telecom and today Chorus is on levels 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 is used for storage, the spokesman said.

Level five of BDO house was vacated by the MC, the Crown Law Office which has moved to levels six and seven of 7 Hardinge St, the building which is linked to 136 Fanshawe St.

Mansons TCLM built BDO House and MC’s new MC Central.

The two buildings have distinct design similarities: glazed roofing, double-height atriums, internal bridge-style stairs to allow tenants to walk between floors and central light wells to bring more natural lights into the buildings.

The New Zealand Herald is a tenant in BDO House, leasing the ground floor, level one and part of level two where it has its Auckland publishing operations as well as radio stations including Newstalk ZB.

Chorus staff will occupy the floor plate which is 3400sq m and spans the area from Graham St to Victoria St.

The floors are some of the biggest in Auckland.

The building has internal divisions into a building A and B. The Chorus floor will span both areas and have internal cafeteria areas as well as printing, seating, meeting and interview rooms.

Property records show 66 Wyndham St is owned by NZ Federal Ltd whose directors are Jason Choi, of Hong Kong, and Thomas Foster, of Sydney.

In 2019, the Herald reported how State clearance has been granted for one of this year’s biggest commercial property deals, with a high-rise Auckland CBD office block allowed to be sold to a foreign-owned firm for $144.5 million.

The Overseas Investment Office has cleared United States-controlled NZ Federal Ltd to buy 66 Wyndham St from Christchurch-based interests.

The purchaser, NZ Federal, is 80 per cent US, 9.6 per cent various overseas entities, 3.1 per cent United Kingdom and 2.4 per cent Canadian, then Japanese, French, Norwegian and German interests.

The office said a special-purpose vehicle of Invesco Real Estate Asia Fund III had been established to buy the building, owned by New Zealand’s 66 Wyndham Ltd.

At the time, Companies Office records showed 66 Wyndham was owned 43 per cent by Lynda Faye Bell and Oxford Street Trustees, 26 per cent by Stephen Robert Bell and Richard John Bell, 21 per cent by Canterbury Trustees and John Peter Smith and 7.5 per cent by Judith Ann Breach.

Glenn Shewan, of Bell Gully, was listed as the lawyer involved in its sale to the overseas interests in 2019.

Auckland Council listed 66 Wyndham St as being valued at $120m: $50m land and $70m building.

The purchase had to go to the OIO because it involved the sale of “significant business assets”. Purchases of assets in this country valued at more than $100m go before the OIO.

“The application intends to continue leasing the land to tenants as a commercial and retail space,” the OIO said of the Chorus House sale.

Invesco says it is in 25 countries, manages assets of more than US$975.2 billion and has more than 7000 employees.

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