Frankton office space sprouting

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Office space is about to almost double at Queenstown’s fast-growing Frankton Flats.

Currently there’s about 9000 square metres of fully-leased space between Terrace Junction, Remarkables Park and Five Mile.

By year’s end there’ll be another 8000sqm or so – spilt evenly between Five Mile’s Building 8 and the four-building first stage of Queenstown Central, on the other side of Grant Road.

Local Colliers International commercial broker Mary-Jo Hudson says office space in Queenstown’s CBD is just about all spoken for.

“It’s amazing – I’ve never known a vacancy level as low as it is in town.

“It makes sense that you’ve got to bring supply on, but we’ve just got quite a lot at once.”

Hudson says existing Frankton office space is also fully leased, though two new Building 8 tenants, Mitchell Mackersy Lawyers and Craigs Investment Partners, will vacate their existing Five Mile premises.

She notes that Building 8 and Queenstown Central “come with all those specifications everyone’s looking for – well-insulated, good airconditioning, good parking, fibre access, all that stuff”.

Building 8, containing four office floors above the ground floor, will be Frankton’s second office tower of significant scale, Hudson says, after Remarkables Park’s four-level Remarkables House, which opened last year.

“Queenstown Central is much more High Street-style.

“Each building on ‘Main Street’, with ground-floor retail and first-floor offices, looks very different from each other.”

Hudson says rental levels are similar to the CBD.

“In town it’s probably $350 to $400 [per sqm], and at Frankton it’s around the $350 level.

“Where there’s a bit of difference is with the operating costs because in town your cost of insurance and rates is going to be higher.”

With both Five Mile’s Building 8 and Queenstown Central, she notes there’s flexibility for office tenants to choose how much floor area they want to occupy.

Traditionally, Frankton office space has been taken up by education, medical and IT-type businesses, but Hudson expects more professional services like Mitchell Mackersy Lawyers, which will occupy Building 8’s top floor, Craigs Investment Partners and Todd & Walker Law, which is at Terrace Junction.

“The CBD is still an important place for business, particularly for the tourism sector and those businesses associated with council and council itself, which still wants to be in the CBD.”

She admits it will take a while to fill all of Frankton’s new office space.

“You don’t get the amount of pre-leasing you do with retail.

“It’s not going to be all leased by the end of the year, but they’ve certainly made a good dent of it at Five Mile.”

scoop@scene.co.nz