Plimmer Towers wooing office tenants
The Australian owners of Plimmer Towers have spent more than $6 million doing up their high-rise property as part of a push to find new tenants.
The complex, which includes the Travelodge Hotel and a parking building topped by a 21-storey office tower, was Wellington's highest tower block when it was built by Arthur Williams in 1977.
It has since been topped by a couple of towers - it is still up there with the highest in the city - but the building's status has never really matched the magnificence of its views.
The location of its main pedestrian entrance at the top of Plimmer Steps, confusing entrances and awkward marriage with a parking building would never win it architectural accolades.
But it has not stopped its owners - Toga Group and Eureka Funds Management - from trying to make a go of it.
Since buying it from Singaporean-controlled Grand Central New Zealand six years ago for $54m, the owners have been progressively primping it up.
The rough concrete exterior has been painted black, new escalators have been put in to improve pedestrian access from Plimmers Lane, new canopies have been installed over the main entrance and exterior stairs, the foyer has been modernised, and vacant floors have been refurbished.
A structural seismic assessment has also been commissioned to reassure present and prospective tenants that the building is over 70 per cent of building standard and on solid rock rather the soft ground that would accentuate shaking in a major quake.
Murchison Group property management consultancy director Stephen Williams, who has been brought in to try to fill the tower, said the building had a lot going for it.
The views were as good as any in the Majestic or State Insurance towers and while nothing could be done about pedestrian access, it was second to none for parking and vehicle access.
It was good B-grade accommodation and was priced accordingly, with office space going from $295 per square metre for a refurbished level 14 to $340 per sqm for the newly refurbished vacant levels 29-31.
About 4000sqm - about a third of the available office space - was available for lease.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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