Demolition work has started inside Papamoa Plaza as work continues on the $20 million expansion

Centre manager David Hill (pictured) said four tenants had moved out, with another four to go during the next few weeks while the work takes place.

Mr Hill said about half of the businesses that were moving out would come back when the work was completed, while the others had decided it was time to move on.

It was not possible to bring the 1997 building up to 2015 standard with all the tenants still in their premises, he said.

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Builders would start renovations at the beginning of next month.

"It is very exciting, there has been so much work go on behind the scenes."

By the end of October the first part of stage two of the development would be complete and work would restart in February, he said.

"We will probably have another 600sq m of retail space this year and the same again in 2016." Mr Hill was reluctant to confirm who the retailers were as "they are really desperate to make their own announcements".

However, interest from national and speciality stores had been enormous, he said. Eight new tenants that he knew of would probably be in by October. There were currently 20 tenants but Mr Hill said there was likely to be 40 by the end of next year.

The 2016 second phase encompassed a foodcourt and room for up to 12 retailers, while space had been set aside for a number of 400-500sq m larger format stores on the grass area beside the mall.

Carmen Hall