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Land Information New Zealand (Linz) is moving into Radio New Zealand House at 155 The Terrace in the biggest leasing deal of the year so far. The deal was brokered by Steve Rodgers, head of leasing at Jones Lang LaSalle in Wellington, and agent Isaac Hunter. Mr Rodgers declined to reveal details, although the rental level is likely to become available soon. Linz will occupy four levels of from level six to level nine, taking about 4895sq m of space in downtownWellington. Radio NZ House is unit titled and owned by investors in a syndicate put together by Ian Little of Anaro Group. Linz is consolidating from nine floors at 160 Lambton Quay into four floors, reducing its overall footprint by approximately 1000sqm. Mr Rodgers described the new floors as more efficient and the consolidation a reaction to the global financial crisis. Linz will be occupying space currently occupied by Kiwibank, which is moving to NZ Post House at 7 Waterloo Quay. The building Linz is leaving at 160 Lambton Quay is owned by Robt Jones and will leave it vacant. Aside from the shuffling of more committed tenants to new or refurbished premises, commercial property activity in Wellington is quiet as evidenced by business and government departments focusing on reducing expenses. This is reflected in the latest Jones Lang LaSalle research for the Wellington central business district, which reveals the vacancy rate increasing from 5.7% in June 2010 to 7% in December 2010. "However, the market is constantly evolving and we expect market sentiment to tilt more toward the positive over late 2011 to early 2012.
"Our leading indicators show we still have work to do but the worst of the conditions are coming to an end for Wellington, which will result in favourable conditions for tenants and more deals over the course of this year." Meanwhile, John Church, national director of leasing for Jones LangLaSalle New Zealand said that in a tenant-driven market the firm's agents have worked more closely with tenants and the landlords. He said there were strict requirements in government leasing work, requiring transparent and arms-length transactions, with many legal processes involved. Last year, Jones Lang LaSalle had concluded more than 50 lease deals in the Wellington central business district. "In Wellington, tenants are looking to take advantage of the current conditions and negotiate with landlords to reduce their costs and increase their flexibility."Mr Church said his team's in-depth market knowledge and close interactions with Wellingtonstakeholders proved to be the deal-breaker for the Linz leasing.
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