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GWRC building on horizon

A concept illustration for new Greater Wellington Regional Council offices. IMAGE/SUPPLIED

A Wairarapa developer has been chosen for a build and leaseback agreement with the Greater Wellington Regional Council building in Masterton.

Greater Wellington has agreed in principle to sell its former Masterton office at 34 Chapel St, to property development company Endeavour Concepts Limited, which will develop a new building and lease it back to the regional council.

The former Masterton offices received an earthquake rating of just 45 per cent New Building Standard for the front part of the Chapel St main office building and the rear part 35 per cent to 40 per cent of NBS.

It has only been used for meetings since October 2018.

“It’s not a safe or efficient building, and our duty of care to staff and visitors requires us to provide safe accommodation,” councillor Adrienne Staples said.

“Other than its seismic condition, the building also dates from 1966 and is effectively nearing the end of its functional and economic life.

“While designs are yet to be completed, we’re looking at leasing a robust sustainable new building with reduced overall energy consumption, designed incorporating some key environmentally sustainable initiatives.

“It will also smarten up the Chapel St streetscape.”

Greater Wellington had owned and occupied the building since acquiring the property from Masterton District Council in 1989.

In 2004, the adjoining property at 24-26 Chapel St was purchased for future redevelopment of the combined sites for a new regional council Masterton office.

Greater Wellington staff work from temporary alternative office accommodation on level four of the Departmental Building where they have been operating since October 2018 with a lease in place to April 2021.

Greater Wellington considered several options, including searching the open market for new or existing building leases, staying on long-term at the Departmental Building, developing its own new building on the existing site, and selling the existing property to a developer and leasing back the new building on the site.

After detailed analysis of the different options, option three of selling and leasing back was chosen.

An illustration of the building concept has been released but the design has not been finalised yet and is subject to change.

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