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Future of NZ’s first sky-scrapper in the air

The future of New Zealand’s first skyscraper, the 100m tall Auckland Council Civic Administration Building, is in the balance.

To be vacated by the council later this year for new headquarters at 135 Albert Street, the building has serious structural issues and would require an estimated $70 million retrofit to give it a new lease of life.

The council has no further identifiable use for the building – designed in the 1950s and opened in 1966 – so it faces possible demolition or refurbishment for other uses, the Finance and Performance Committee heard. (Read the committee report in PDF file.)

135AlbertStAucklandCouncil

At the leading edge of building technology when constructed, the building is not listed for protection but two recent assessments suggest it worthy of Category A or B scheduling. Category A listing would limit the type of renovation permitted.

Refurbishment would have to include removing asbestos installed during construction as a fire retardant.

The committee decided to test the market for investor interest in refurbishment and at the same time request Regional Facilities Auckland, a council controlled organisation, to include the building in a review of possible future uses of the Civic /Aotea Centre precinct.

“Market testing and precinct planning opportunities will allow us to determine the future of the building with a complete picture of options and costs,” said committee chair Councillor Penny Webster.

 

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