Commercial Bay is the grand scheme to capitalize on Auckland’s seaside location, bringing together commercial space, public transport, retail, public spaces and hospitality environments. A soaring new office tower is being developed by Precinct Properties with a considerable range of new amenities below.
The 39-level, 39,000 square-meter office tower, designed by Warren and Mahoney, in collaboration with Woods Bagot and NH Architecture – has 3.9 hectares of indoor floor space, 80 percent leased to law firms Chapman Tripp, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, DLA Piper, PwC and Regus. Naming rights have been sold to PwC, which currently leases the neighboring Precinct tower.
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The building’s core is on the Customs Street side of the tower, so offices have unhindered waterfront views. The architects say this will be an “unparalleled workspace experience, with open, flexible floor plates and dramatic views over the harbor and city.” Glazed lifts will ascend from a double-height sky lobby.
Builder Fletcher Construction opened the ground beneath the old Downtown center, to allow twin City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels to be built. Access of this quality has been invaluable, giving CRL unhindered ability to run lines from Britomart, under Commercial Bay, and up Albert Street.
A plan for Commercial Bay Stage Two makes alterations and additions to One Queen Street, now HSBC House. The new InterContinental Hotel Auckland will occupy the 11 top levels of the office building and yield 244 guest rooms, a restaurant, meeting areas, health club and lounge facilities. Construction work will begin in early 2020, with Precinct aiming to finish by 2022.
Precinct chief executive Scott Pritchard says they’re expecting about 10 million people to make their way through Commercial Bay shops annually. The 18,000 square-meter shopping center replaces the old Downtown, which traded there for many decades. With the catch-cry “here the city began,” Precinct is promising 120 shops, including big-name retailers.
Commercial Bay ties together four existing landmark city towers, all owned by Precinct, which will have a 2-hectare, NZ$1.5-billion (US$1.01-billion) stronghold. All it needs now to complete the development is Auckland Council’s Downtown Carpark and the M Social Auckland hotel.
The construction schedule is running about a year behind original plans. The offices were due to open in July 2018, but will not be ready until December 2019 and could be pushed out even further. The shops were due to open last November, ready for Christmas 2018 but only one retailer, H&M is so far trading there. More shops are scheduled to open in September 2019.
For more on this story, go to the New Zealand Herald.