The transformation of the landmark office building at 125 Queen Street into one of the CBD’s most sought-after office addresses continues with the announcement of QBE Insurance as its anchor tenant.
Through an office leasing process led by CBRE New Zealand, QBE Insurance has confirmed it will be taking 2,166sqm over three levels (levels 20 to 22) on a long-term lease along with signage and naming rights that will see the property renamed as the QBE Centre.
Dating from the mid-1980s, the 30-level building boasted the status as the highest building in the CBD. It was essentially off the market for a decade before undergoing a major transformation and re-launch this year.
The extensive refurbishment undertaken by landlord Special Situations Assets Limited saw the addition of a striking new white façade on the building’s exterior, the restoration of the beautiful heritage façade, a stunning internal fit-out to the lobby, offices and common areas, the complete replacement and upgrade of the services and the installation of giant LED screens elevating the building’s on-street presence and providing a major marketing platform.
Duncan Elley, who oversees the project for developer Winton Partners, notes the refurbishment has totally transformed the building into a premium tower with the quality of workmanship and materials not rivalled in the Auckland CBD. “We are delighted to enter into a partnership with QBE Insurance over the long term in the new QBE Centre. QBE was attracted by the high quality of the refurbishment, the prime location and the fantastic amenity within the building.”
QBE NZ General Manager, Bill Donovan, said the move was a significant one for the global insurer.
“While QBE has been part of the New Zealand business community for over 130 years, it’s important we continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing expectations of our people and our customers and partners,” Mr Donovan said.
“Making life better for our people is the ultimate reason for moving and we needed a site that would allow greater collaboration, enable our team to work in an agile way and in a modern space with wonderful amenities for staff, all of which we found at 125 Queen St.
“As one of the leading business insurers in New Zealand, it also made sense that we stay in the heart of the Auckland CBD, in close proximity to many of our broker partners.
QBE Centre will house approximately 210 of QBE’s Auckland-based team members.
QBE is moving in mid-April and will join a number of high quality tenants already present including MMC, Accenture, Grimshaw & Co, Methanex and Hong Kong Airlines.
Matt Hockey, Associate Director Advisory & Transaction Services of CBRE New Zealand, who has been leading the office leasing process, says an anchor tenant the calibre of QBE reflects the position of the building as one of the finest places in the CBD to conduct business.
“Having always benefitted from having one of the best locations in the CBD, on the doorstep of lower Queen and Shortland Streets, the building now offers a level of amenity to match in the form of exceptional dining and retail offers. It is great to see this has been recognised by QBE Insurance and its decision to become anchor tenant further underpins the value of the building as a place to work and marks an exciting new chapter in its life.
“As part of the recent improvements, the lively new Middleton Café is now operating on ground floor along with retail tenants ASB, Pharmville Pharmacy and New World. District Fitness gym is operating a bespoke studio based gym from Level 2 and Cosmo Kids Childcare is open and operating on Level 3. In the next few months, the building will be home to a collection of 11 world class eateries as part of the Queen’s Rise development on level 1. These services will benefit office users in the vicinity of the building, Auckland residents and tourists alike.”
Encompassing over 17,000sqm of office space, Hockey says high-quality office tenancies are still available in low-rise and high-rise areas.
“The building’s side core makes it exceptionally well suited for whole or multi- floor tenants as the configuration delivers great visibility across the floor. Occupiers will also have the benefit of end-of-trip facilities including bike parks, lockers and showers.
“For businesses looking to secure ideal positioning at the heart of Auckland’s premier street, and access and amenity that is second to none, now is the time to be part of the rebirth of this landmark Queen Street tower.”
About QBE Insurance
QBE Insurance has been operating in New Zealand since 1890 and is part of the QBE Insurance Group, one of the world's top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies. QBE Insurance has been protecting New Zealand businesses for more than 125 years and offers a comprehensive range of quality business insurance products to cover enterprises of all sizes, from small owner operators to large corporations. QBE underwrites risk in the corporate, commercial and professional insurance sectors and are proud to provide all classes of business insurance including: Liability, Property, Contract Works & Engineering, Marine, Motor, Trade Credit, and Accident & Health. QBE sells its insurance via intermediaries.
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ABOUT CBRE GROUP, INC.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2017 revenue). The company has more than 80,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com..