Taits targets techie tenants for Chch HQ

COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT: An artist's impression of the new Tait campus, which is now in need of tenants.
COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT: An artist's impression of the new Tait campus, which is now in need of tenants.

One of Christchurch's biggest private employers is creating an office campus for like-minded businesses.

Tait Communications is building itself $25 million of new headquarters but that's not all its doing on its Harewood site.

The new building is part of a $35m campus project that will house Tait staff and also open up workspaces for other businesses.

The company, a $150m-a-year electronics exporter employing 500 staff in the city plus 200 overseas, is based in Wairakei Rd. Most of its property is owned by the Tait Foundation, established as a charitable organisation by company founder, the late Sir Angus Tait.

By the end of the year it will finish its new building facing Wooldridge Rd. The site backs onto its existing Wairakei Rd buildings next to Canterbury Technology Park.

Would-be tenants will have three options - some surplus space in the new building, offices next door being vacated by the shift, or potentially new developments on adjacent bare land.

Spokeswoman Helen Metcalfe said the company saw "an opportunity, almost an obligation" to help the rebuild of Christchurch.

"So they set about creating a technology park. Taits is working towards a more-collaborative style of business, working with partners."

Metcalfe said the company already worked closely with research and development organisations and tech and manufacturing companies, and they were the sort of tenants the campus would suit.

"It's about getting our technology talking to other technologies".

The new building includes two wings - an east and west joined by an atrium. Tait staff will occupy the east wing and a good proportion of the west wing but 600 square metres will be available for another tenant.

Design notes say it has been built with efficiency in mind. Features include a laminated timber frame, a 12-metre-high atrium to let in natural light, an energy-saving heating and cooling system, and water drawn directly from an aquifer.

A cheaper option for would-be tenants will be about 500sqm in the buildings the company will leave behind in Wairakei Rd. Taits will vacate No 535 Wairakei Rd completely, and partly vacate number 540 while tenants, including CTV, will stay on.

Taits manufacturing division will remain in a third building, at No 580.

Marketing agent Bob Davison, of MC Cook Commercial, says short and long-term leases are a possibility, and both buildings offer car parking. The third option for businesses may be new offices on adjacent land that has the potential to be developed. Hughes Development is selling or leasing the two blocks of adjacent land on behalf of the Tait Foundation.

A new road, to be named Sir Angus Tait Dr, after the company's founder, will be part of the development of the land, previously used for market gardening.

The Press