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Axis, St Laurence join forces

By Campbell McIlroy

Friday 21st July 2000

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REBADGING: The former Hesketh Henry Building, soon to be renamed Elders Finance House
Elders Finance has taken the naming rights and top two floors of the former Hesketh Henry building in Auckland's Kitchener St.

The lease comes on the back of Axis Property Group taking a half share in the building which was bought by St Laurence in May.

The joint venture has joined together one of the country's largest syndicators in Wellington-based St Laurence, which has more than $300 million in assets and 9000 clients, and Auckland based developers Axis Property Group which developed the Sebel Suites in the Viaduct Basin and has just completed the The Met and Loft apartments in Auckland's Durham Lane, as well as managing the Blue Star portfolio.

Market estimates put St Laurence's purchase of the former Hesketh Henry Building in May at about $5 million.

Two years earlier the then owners of the building, Long Chuan Properties, were asking from $9.5-$10 million for the property.

The price Axis paid for its half share was not disclosed but the company was confident it would have the building fully let by settlement date at the end of October.

Director Greg Wilkinson said there was a strong demand for smaller floor plates from smaller companies, especially those which wanted a floor to themselves or a number of contiguous floors.

Colliers Jardine broker James MacCormack said smaller companies did not want to spend a lot of money on fitouts, so relocating was, in many cases, the best option.

The mobility created by the oversupplied secondary market has helped lease approximately 65% of the building in just under two and a half months.

IT Media has taken 530sq m on level three, Direct Capital has 508sq m on level six, law firm Gubb & Partners has 425sq m on level eight, and Law Link has approximately 250sq m on half of level four.

Negotiations are under way for another two and A half floors.

Leases ranged from $140 to $160 a sq m and terms of six years have been achieved.

Mr Wilkinson said the major attractions of the building were natural light, its proximity to the central city, a carpark building located next door and, in the long term, the potential for future re-development into residential units.

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