Rotorua's Eastside residents are seeing a flurry of new businesses opening as a result of progress at development sites in the area.
Activity has picked up at the Lynmore Junction site with national chain Gym Flex and Indian restaurant House of Spice opening in the past two weeks.
Kebab Kitchen and a bakery will open by the end of the month and a dental surgery is being fitted out and expected to open at the end of October.
Holmes Group managing director Ryan Holmes said those businesses were stage two of its Lynmore Junction operation with Motion Entertainment being the first stage.
The third and final stage was 18,000sq m of building area that runs between Motion Entertainment and the stage two businesses.
Mr Holmes said they hadn't released stage three yet for lease but it could cater for anything from one large tenant to up to three businesses.
He said there were still four vacancies as part of stage two.
"There's lots of interest but it's a matter of getting them across the line. I think a few people are sitting on their hands waiting for the election results."
Mr Holmes described the success of Motion Entertainment as "unreal" as it headed towards its goal of 400,000 people through the doors by the end of year after opening in November last year. So far it was sitting at well over 250,000, including 35,000 in the July school holidays.
Motion Entertainment national brand and sales manager Julia Manktelow said they had rebranded as being "New Zealand's number one entertainment mall" which better described what they delivered.
She said it was now her focus to push the facility in the conference market to utilise its space that catered for up to 150 people upstairs at the complex.
Mr Holmes was pleased that so far all new tenants at Lynmore Junction were expanding existing businesses or new businesses, meaning they weren't leaving a gap elsewhere in Rotorua.
He said there were few convenience retail businesses on the Eastside of Rotorua and even fewer restaurants and eateries.
Giovanni's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria has been open for just over four months and co-owner Deep Kumar said business at his 35-seat restaurant had exceeded expectations.
"I was really scared to open in winter but when your restaurant is fully booked on Monday nights and you're having to turn away 30 to 40 people in the weekends, that's good."
He was now glad he didn't go with his initial plan of opening a restaurant in Taupo.
"I saw an article in the Rotorua Daily Post about this [Lynmore Junction and Motion Entertainment] coming here and I thought that would bring in a lot of people so I changed my mind."
Kebab Kitchen co-owner Asim Cihan said his new business would complement their other restaurant on Fairy Springs Rd. They had two others, in Nelson and Te Puke.
"It's a good opportunity and a good location [at Lynmore Junction]. It's growing out this side of town."
The Lynmore Junction site was initially the home of Sealed Air. In 2015 demolition started to make way for the new development with a building consent issued in January 2016.
More Eastside progress
There's plenty more business growth expected in the coming months on the Eastside of Rotorua, with Pizza Hut opening next month and another fast food outlet set to be announced in the coming months.
Sixteen new jobs will be created at the Pizza Hut, opening next to the new Owhata Medical Centre site on Te Ngae Rd.
A Pizza Hut spokeswoman told the Rotorua Daily Post this week there were still some positions to fill but other staff members recruited had begun training.
She said the opening date was on track for early October.
Meanwhile, Fresh Choice developer and owner Wayne Parry said his new supermarket on Te Ngae Rd, which employed 36 people, was going well.
He has another site next to the supermarket that's consented for a fast-food outlet but he hasn't yet pushed hard for a tenant.
"We will be ready to go pretty quick once we find a suitable operator but the focus was getting the supermarket up and running first. But between now and Christmas we will be getting it in place."
Fellow developer Ray Cook said his new 1.5ha site at the Tarawera Rd end of Te Ngae Rd was now fully tenanted.
He said a mix of existing and new industrial businesses had taken the seven spaces.
Mr Cook bought the site in November when the previous business there, Verda, went into receivership. The seven tenants include his own business, R&B Consultants, which moved from Lake Rd.
What's happening on the Eastside?
- Three new businesses set to open at Lynmore Junction, following the opening of two others in the past few weeks
- Pizza Hut set to open next month
- New fast-food chain to be announced next to new FreshChoice supermarket
- Former Verda site full with seven new industrial/businesses tenants