HSBC Tower, Wellington

Client: Birnie Capital Investors
Timeframe: Completed 2002

Components: Commercial/ Office- 25-storey HSBC Tower, with 12 floors of office space and 10 parking levels

Project description:

Completed in August 2002, the 25-storey HSBC Tower was the first high-rise office building constructed in Wellington for almost a decade. It comprises 12 floors of office space, 10 floors of car parking plus retail on the ground floor.

Xigo personnel were engaged by the developers, Birnie Capital Investors, at the commencement of the project in early 1999 as Client Representative, Project Manager and Cost Manager.

Location: Lambton Quay, Wellington

Client: Birnie Capital Investors

Description: 25-storey office building

Floor Area: 15,000 sq m NLA, 188 carparks

Lead Tenant: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Completion Date: August 2002

Our Role: Project and Cost Manager

Main challenges

The developer’s desire to minimise risk on this project required the negotiation of fixed price contract with Fletcher Construction at the outset. The standard Conditions of Contract did not satisfy our client’s risk-averse nature, so we worked with their legal advisors to negotiate with Fletchers and draw up a completely new Construction Contract, specifically written for this project.

The Project also required a specifically written Development Agreement with the lead tenant, which required back-to-back adherence with the funders’ requirements and the Construction Contract. Xigo personnel supervised all contract documentation to come up with solutions that satisfied all parties.

Gaining resource consents
Initially the tower was to be 23 storeys, to keep within the Wellington City Council’s height restrictions for Lambton Quay. But during the planning stages Simpson Grierson made an approach seeking office space in the new building, which required the height to increase to 25 storeys – above the council’s height limit. This meant the resource consent application had to be publicly notified. With several objections resulting, we played a key role in managing the consent process to ensure a positive outcome for our client.

Our approach

Xigo personnel’s role in the project began with preparation of a successful bid to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to secure the contract to provide their new office accommodation. We then engaged the design consultants, led by Brian Aitken of Peddle Thorp Aitken and the contractor (Fletcher Construction), who started work in September 2000.

We managed resource consent applications and oversaw the budget, contract management and tenant liaison.

Due to the time we invested at the outset with Fletchers in negotiating details of the contract conditions, the resulting contract worked extremely well.

There was only one variation to the contract during the entire construction phase, which is highly unusual.

Each floor was completed to open plan stage and then handed over to MFAT to complete their fit-out.

The HSBC Tower was completed on schedule and on budget. It’s now a landmark building in central Wellington. We are exceptionally proud of HSBC Tower, our first large scale commercial development; a very satisfying project for our people to work on.