Six vacant main street shops in Napier are in the process of being leased in a boon for retailing after months of concern about an increasing number of empty premises in the city's Emerson St shopping centre.
They include three adjoining shops in the two-storey, post-earthquake Bowman Building, which extends Market St to Tennyson St in the block of Emerson St between Hastings and Dalton streets.
The other three are between Dalton St and Clive Square.
Napier Inner-city Marketing manager Meg Rodel said she believed the leasing of the sites would mean there would be no vacant shops in the street.
Further retail development and movement is expected with the completion of renovations at the Mid-City Plaza, into which Be Dazzled has already moved, and as Farmers moves to a new development yet to start between Hastings St and Marine Parade.
Several tenants are expected to be sought for a range of shops in the Farmers current site extending from Emerson St to Hastings St.
The proposed occupier of the Bowman Building shops is understood to be a fashion clothing chain, although nothing is expected to be announced until later this month.
The first "For Lease" sign in the building went up more than six months ago with the closure of Shadz Cafe, ending more than 30 years as a morning tea and lunch bar for a shop which had a heyday as Gamages Hat Shop in the 1940s-1960s.
The closure of the neighbouring Napier branch of House of Travel earlier this year was followed by Pacific Souvenirs' shift from another door away, across the road to premises vacated last year by book retailers Dymocks.
The removal of signs in the shift exposed the original signwriting of former site occupant Jenkins Manufacturing Jewellers.
Two neighbouring shops at the other end of Emerson St, most recently occupied by Be Dazzled and the coffee and food outlet Sand Bar, are already being renovated for new occupants, understood to include Boardzone, one of the Hastings St businesses affected by the Farmers development.
The nearby Hawke's Bay SPCA pet shop, Fetch, is understood to be expanding into a neighbouring shop in the Provincial Building.
The leases have been arranged by Property Brokers Commercial, which is unable to announce other details.