Move to Telecom Central delayed

Poor weather a factor in delaying shift to new premises

Telecom’s new Wellington head office, to be known as Telecom Central, will be ready to accommodate staff from early next month, about a month later than the scheduled date of July 31.

Poor weather was one factor in the delay, says project manager Rasbeer Gill, at Gill Consultants, but overall, it was due to “normal construction industry delays”.

“It was a three year project,” he says; “you can’t really criticise the builder if it is four weeks late.”

When the building was photographed earlier this month the offices, though carpeted, were still sporting stepladders for the installation of internal fittings, and what will become the main entrance was still under construction.

Telecom Central, complementing Telecom Place in Auckland, is a twin-tower building on the former site of the Airways Corporation offices. The core of the Airways Corporation building and the historic Tisdall’s building façade were both incorporated in the new block.

Telecom Central was always planned to house staff from Telecom, not Chorus, says a spokeswoman. If a demerger is approved by Telecom shareholders, Telecom Central will accommodate ‘Telecom 2’ staff only.

“We anticipate the move process will take six weeks from the beginning of September this year, and we plan to vacate the Tory Street and Grand Arcade offices [in Wellington central] after this,” she says.

The building will be owned by property developer The Wellington Company, headed by Ian Cassels, and Telecom will be the “anchor tenant”. For this reason, Telecom will not comment on the value of the building, which in any case, it says, is commercially confidential.

The most distinctive features of the building are the zig-zag profile of its glass frontage and its northward-facing roof-garden.

In the last issue of the telco's staff magazine Telecom published a two-page spread on the development, with a welter of statistics, from the 68 bicycle parks and 121 WiFi access points to the information that the 3000 cubic metres of concrete poured for the building is “roughly enough to make 600 life-size adult African elephants.”

Meanwhile Telecom is scheduled to announce its full year financial results this Friday.

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