Wanganui's major inner city retail shopping precinct is attracting interest from national retailers, according to the developer.
C J Efstratiou, the man behind the multimillion-dollar development straddling Victoria Ave and St Hill St, said the project represented one of the largest developments seen in the city's central business district.
"Substantial interest has already been generated by national retailers who understand the benefits of the quality and location and the impact it will have on the pedestrian flow of the city," Mr Efstratiou said.
Work is well advanced on the site with lead contractor Watts and Hughes Construction laying foundations and underground services.
Anchoring the scheme - known as Victoria Retail Centre - is a new 5500sq m two-storey Farmers department store, which will reflect the company's latest retail format.
While the Farmers store will be the dominant feature, the complex will also include 12 new retail stores, with these fronting both the Avenue and Maria Pl.
The building will surround a 71-space carpark.
"Every shop will be accessible from the carpark or via an enclosed walkway linking it to the Avenue, giving customers a one-stop destination for all their shopping," Mr Efstratiou said.
He said the style of the development would reflect and complement the streetscape "in keeping with that of a small city such as Wanganui".
He said materials and colour schemes had been chosen to reflect neighbouring properties and blend in with the area.
The contract is scheduled to be completed by November, with the first stage including the major store and carpark and the second stage taking in the retail stores.