Wellington’s iconic Spark Central building has been sold at nearly $200 million, in what is the largest single office sale in in the city to date, and one of the largest sales ever of this kind in New Zealand.
Successfully brokered by Matthew St Amand and Brent McGregor of CBRE New Zealand, the deal demonstrates further evidence of Wellington’s market strength and appeal to investors.
The building at 40-48 Willis Street, currently owned by The Wellington Company, has been sold to an investment group represented by a South Island law firm for $197.5 million.
Mr St Amand said that the property attracted strong interest from international investors, with offers from Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
“We were delighted that Wellington continues to be a destination of choice for offshore investors, but ultimately the strongest offer came from our own backyard.”
Ian Cassels, Managing Director of The Wellington Company, says the strong interest in the property coupled with its landmark sale point to renewed optimism in investing in the capital.
Mr St Amand agrees: “Investors look for quality assets with strong investment fundamentals. What we are seeing now is that the things that traditionally made investors nervous about Wellington – the weather, the distance and the possibility of the occasional earthquake – aren’t the city’s defining features anymore.
“Spark Central is one of the largest and highest quality office assets in the Wellington CBD and is home to notable tenants including Stuff, Spark, BNZ and AMP – all of which is a testament to the way in which future-focused development can make an attractive proposition.”
The architecturally award-winning 12-storey building was developed by The Wellington Company. It was completed in December 2011 and incorporates a refurbished heritage building on its Willis Street frontage, plus a new 11-floor office tower on Boulcott Street.
The Five Green-Star rated complex was one of the earlier of Mr Cassels’ growing portfolio of innovative, ethical and “socially-minded” business operations.
“We can now put more focus on cracking the hard nut of affordable housing which will have benefits for the City and many Wellingtonians.”
Last month, Mr Cassels and son Alex launched Te Kainga, an affordable rental project which was lauded as the first of its kind in New Zealand, by Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.
The unconditional sale will be settled in early 2019.
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