Rotorua jobs boost with new stores for mall

By, Abigail Hartevelt

Developments at two sites in Rotorua are expected to create at least 50 new jobs.

Two major retailers are negotiating with the owners of Rotorua Central to come to the city and work is about to begin on another building at Trade Central next to the new Mitre 10 Mega.

Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust client manager Peter Faulkner, of Hulton Patchell, said they had applied for and were granted a variation change on its resource consent to extend part of Rotorua Central, which formally accommodated Mitre 10.

Mr Faulkner said the building would be extended by about 2000sq m to the west of the former Mitre 10 building.

Mr Faulkner said Pukeroa Oruawhata was negotiating with two major retailers but he was not prepared to confirm who the tenants were as no contracts had been signed. He said they hoped to have a contract signed by the end of next month.

He said one of the potential tenants was new to Rotorua while the other was new to Rotorua's CBD.

One big box store which is not yet in Rotorua is Kmart. Kmart national property manager Ben Smith said Kmart was interested in bringing more customers in New Zealand "the lowest prices on items they use every day".

"Kmart is always looking to secure new stores in great locations, and if we confirm a site in Rotorua we will keep the community informed and develop an official announcement," Mr Smith said.

Mr Faulkner said each of the retailers they were negotiating with could employ between 30 and 40 staff and, while that particular area could only be used by one retailer, there was the potential for the other retailer to also come to Rotorua.

"We could get both on that [Rotorua Central] site. If we get one the other one may not come on."

Mr Faulkner said that part of Rotorua Central which also included The Cheesecake Shop, Dick Smith and Payless Plastics would be redeveloped and negotiations were being held with those retailers as to their needs.

Countdown, Van Dykes and Bed Bath and Beyond would not be affected.

The road near Farmers was also being realigned 30 metres west, bringing it closer to Harvey Norman, Bond & Bond, Number One Shoes and Noel Leeming and there would be improved parking for Westpac and ANZ.

"It's an exciting stage of the project. I think it will be the icing on the cake."

Work on the project would not start until the second or third quarter of this year and would not open until the first quarter of next year.

More than $20 million will be spent on the project, which includes the extension, building a new southern entrance to the foodcourt, the complete enclosure of the mall up to Amohau St, and work on some of the frontages to keep them fresh and vibrant.

Meanwhile, work is expected to begin on a new building next month at Trade Central next to the new Mitre 10 Mega. The building of Gray's Funeral Home was also to be moved to its new location next to Kauae Cemetery.

Mr Faulkner said he was not yet in a position to name the business which would be situated in the new building but described it as a bulky products store which was likely to employ eight to 10 staff.

Work on the 1200sq m building was expected to take about five months and the new business was likely to open mid-July.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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