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Telecom to bring Wellington offices together

Tuesday 15th July 2008

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Telecom whose shares have tracked the NZX 50 Index's 24% decline this year, plans to consolidate 1,700 Wellington workers in a new two-building development.

The biggest company on the benchmark index will be the cornerstone tenant in a $100 million-plus development by The Wellington Company. Signing Telecom was "a strong part of the feasibility" of the project, managing director Ian Cassels said in a BusinessWire interview today. The project's value is "significantly greater than $100 million," he said.

The campus-style, 26,000 sq metre development may be the grandest arrival in Wellington since the Majestic Centre, whose upper floors look down on the Terrace. The complex will meet standards to gain an environmental sustainability rating.

Telecom has signed to a 12-year lease for a tenancy in Willis Central, as it will be known. The development is a sign of continuing demand for commercial buildings in the capital city compared with other parts of the country, Cassels said.

The project comes amid signs of a downturn in the broader construction industry as the economy shrinks and raw material costs rise. New Zealand investors expect the economy will deteriorate in the next three months, according to the ING Investor Dashboard Survey today.

"Telecom is a wonderful tenant," Cassels said. "They deal with the necessities of life."

The development will bring together Telecom workers at six sites in Wellington, Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds said in a statement.

"Having a purpose-built campus will maximise future operational efficiencies as well as meeting our environmental sustainability commitments" he said.

The move to the new site, which has a 5 Star Green Star NZ Certified Rating, doesn't include workers from the separated Chorus business.

By Jonathan Underhill

  General Finance Advertising    

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