Tarawera Rd development 'not competing with CBD'

By Abigail Hartevelt

Central city retailers and business leaders hope a new retail complex proposed for Lynmore won't have a detrimental impact on retail business in Rotorua's CBD.

The developer of the proposed new complex, Tony Bradley, wants to emphasise that his plan is for a convenience retail complex. It is not designed to compete with Rotorua Central or the CBD, he says.

Mr Bradley went public this week about his application for resource consent to build an upmarket retail complex at the intersection of Te Ngae and Tarawera Rds.

It would be built on 1.6ha of land where the former Redwood Holiday Park, a landscape business and two residential properties are currently situated, sections Mr Bradley has purchased.

Mr Bradley said the complex would not have bookshops, clothing stores or gift shops.

"I don't want those type of stores. They belong in the CBD."

He said the complex would include convenience retail such as a butchery, bakery and medical centre. He also envisages the complex could include a gym, a cafe and a family restaurant/bar.

Mr Bradley said the type of tenants interested in the complex were those who preferred to be on the fringe of the central city.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Roger Gordon said he hoped the complex would not have a detrimental impact on businesses in the CBD.

"My personal opinion would have been is that the central city was quite close for those residents ... Knowing Tony, he would have done his research as to the demand for such a centre."

Any impact would depend on the mix of retail outlets proposed but if they were as Mr Bradley said, the impact might not be as great as some retailers might fear, Mr Gordon said.

The proposal has attracted some reaction on The Daily Post website.

"Sounds great! However, I bet the remaining retailers who are just managing to keep their doors open won't like this," Tony Moore posted on the website. "Is it not enough that the CBD is already divided with the central mall? Again, I mention the amount of shops for lease in our CBD (poor landlords)."

Mr Moore said it was great 50 jobs could be created but expressed concern about jobs being lost in other areas. He said consideration needed to be given to whether the complex would have a positive economic impact.

Rotorua/Taupo branch of Property Institute of New Zealand chairwoman Helen Brumby said it was always good to see new development in Rotorua. It had the potential to make a big difference in the city, she said.

"However, the size of the development should also consider the impact on the city centre and ensure it is not competing with the retail areas by a centre out of proportion for the suburban location," she said.

Heart of Tutanekai chairman and part-owner of Serious Fun, Mike Lee, had concerns about retail being taken out of the CBD but said any development was good and would create jobs.

Mr Bradley said Lynmore lacked a destination shopping complex and the centre would also be handy for Lake Okareka and Lake Tarawera residents and visitors to the Redwoods.

The proposal is subject to submissions which will be heard next week.


Email: abbey.hartevelt@dailypost.co.nz

- Rotorua Daily Post

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