With Rotorua's new convenience retail complex the Redwood Centre, located about 3km east of the city's CBD, due to open on Friday only a few tenancies remain to be filled.
Mark Rendell, Bayleys Rotorua leasing specialist, says the remaining sites will suit high-volume or lifestyle retail services such as a video outlet, hairdressing salon, niche computer sales or repair operator, drycleaner, icecream parlour, Asian noodle bar, pet-care shop, Lotto store or health-food specialist.
"Of the 19 retail sites on offer, 14 tenancies have been signed up in advance of this week's official opening," Rendell says.
The Redwood Centre occupies a 5003sq m site and comprises 4200sq m of retail shops, a 400sq m medical centre and adjoining pharmacy, and a 400sq m gymnasium. It has 205 carparks designed to optimise shared-usage periods.
The corner site sits at the intersection of roads leading into Rotorua's CBD on one side and the leisure-focused Lakes District - encompassing the Blue and Green Lakes, Lake Okareka and Lake Tarawera - on the other side.
Rendell says the NZ Transport Agency has recorded an annual average daily traffic flow of about 34,000 vehicles past the intersection.
Among the 14 tenants already signed up to the Redwoods hub are: Burger Fuel, an independent liquor outlet, a butcher's shop, bakery, fishmonger, fruit and vegetable store, a bike-servicing workshop and a physiotherapy/medical clinic and pharmacy that was formerly based at Owhata about 4km away.
"The five remaining Redwood Centre sites available for lease range in size from 130sq m to 297sq m," Rendell says.
"One has been pencilled in for a potential pizza outlet, with discussions currently ongoing with a mix of both chain and standalone operators looking at taking up a tenancy.
"A second site has been allocated for a cafe operator, with similar discussions under way with several franchise coffee chains and standalone operators in Rotorua."
Redwood Centre sites have annual ground rents starting from $250 per sq m, with annual operational budgets between $28 to $35/sq m.
"New Zealand retailing has seen several development and geographic trends over the past decade - from the emergence of 'big box' retailing hubs attracting the likes of Farmers, Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming, through to suburban retail convenience hubs such as the Redwood Centre," Rendell says.
"These smaller neighbourhood complexes are predominantly based around short-stay retail patronage, and are based on the cornerstone food and beverage purchases - both for on-premise consumption in cafes and restaurants, and as takeaway products," he says.
Rendell says the strategy for suburban convenience retail hubs is to lease to complementary businesses in what is known as a "jigsaw" mode, where individual pieces fit together to create a bigger, overall picture.
"The most common example of this model is exemplified by a typical Saturday night in the suburbs in virtually every New Zealand city - where a father and the kids get sent 'down the road' by mum to hire a DVD for the night and pick up pizzas or other takeaways for dinner, with dad buying a six-pack of beer and a bottle of wine to take home, too.
"Another typical scenario on which retail convenience hubs are founded is to cater for the suburban housewife and mother who finds it time-efficient to drop off the dry cleaning, have a cut and blow-wave at the local hairdressing salon, meet friends for lunch at a cafe or restaurant, then pick up ingredients for dinner and head home - all without having to move the car from its one parking spot."
Rendell expects the Redwood Centre to become the preferred retail convenience hub for suburban Lynmore in Rotorua and the rural Lakes District.
What's on offer
New property: Redwood Centre convenience retail complex
Where: On the outskirts of Rotorua
Opening date: This Friday, February 1
Feature: Few tenancies left to be filled