When the Teaching Council of Aotearoa NZ – the professional body for teachers in early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling – needed support finding a new solution for their head office of 100+ staff by the end of 2020, TwentyTwo jumped into action…
- Space required: Minimum 1200m2
- Special requirements: Single floor and NBS of 80% +
- Delivery date: By Q2 2021
Teaching Council first approached us seeking advice about how they could obtain more certainty from their existing landlord to complete overdue seismic works as their lease renewal quickly approached. Like a lot of Wellington buildings, 80 Boulcott Street had been assessed as needing significant works to bring it up to a higher NBS standard. Getting an offshore landlord through a NZ-based property manager to provide certainty on the scope and intrusiveness of these works and the timeframes, was challenging.
It became clear that finding an acceptable solution to remain in the building was going to prove difficult. At this point, the Teaching Council asked us to start a new procurement process to identify alternative options.
“The significant reduction in the overall NBS for the current building led the Council to seek alternative accommodation as quickly as possible. The desired timeframe was a lot quicker than normal” says TwentyTwo’s Associate Principal Chris Ware. Chris spent the run-up to Christmas 2020 researching options, undertaking site inspections, completing further due diligence to remove as much risk as possible to then quickly start negotiations with a preferred option and document final terms. “Even post-C-19 the market remained very tight so it was a challenge identifying suitable options and moving fast enough to secure an option”.
However, with clear guidance from the Teaching Council, by the New Year, substantial progress had been made. Level 11, 7 Waterloo Quay was confirmed as the preferred option, high-level terms were agreed upon, other first rights of refusal were removed through negotiation (that would have otherwise resulted in delayed landlord approvals) and Argosy Property Limited and Teaching Council commenced finalising the Agreement to Lease and Lease documentation. The design workstream was initiated shortly after. The final terms for the new lease were concluded in late February 2021.
“Normally, a similar project would run over a longer period – we would take a month or two to do a site search, procurement, due diligence, and then a couple of months again to negotiate commercial terms and documentation, depending on the complexities involved. The design workstream then continues as the project shifts into delivery mode.
“In this case, we took a gamble on time, knowing the lease expiry and commencement date deadlines, but backing the design and delivery team to squeeze up their programme to allow Teaching Council to shift as proposed” says Chris. For this project, the stars aligned, and a tailwind certainly helped reach a successful finishing point.
“In the end, it’s the perfect space for them that came up at the perfect time, as there were very few other single-floor options that would have worked. Their previous space at 80 Boulcott Street was over two floors and far more space than they needed. So 1200m2 over one floor was ideal.” The beauty of the floor – which also helped the delivery team move fast – was that the landlord had already completed all the landlord’s base build works in terms of carpet, ceilings, lights etc… giving Teaching Council a blank canvas to move in and do their work.
Measured by design
After a full procurement process, Workspace Architects were chosen for the office design, which had a big focus on recognising and incorporating Te Ao Māori. With the building being long and narrow, everybody has a view, either over Parliament or the harbour. “The entry was important to them” says Chris, “to bring staff and visitors in, but equally bring staff together. So they took the time to get the design right”.
The Teaching Council moved into their new space in August 2021.
“It is always satisfying when we not only help a client solve a problem/develop a new solution, but do it in quick time and get a great commercial and workplace outcome”.
“Without the expert help from TwentyTwo, the Teaching Council would never have been able to negotiate the challenges of finding space and negotiating acceptable terms in the time available. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again” says Teaching Council’s CFO Ian McEwan.