A $15 million hotel housing 40 apartments has been announced for Mount Maunganui. Its location? A site which has been home to an iconic cafe and bar for more than a decade. The news comes as a new Quest apartment and hotel has been officially opened in Tauranga city. The red ribbon has been cut on that $12 million three-storey 42-apartment development on Devonport Rd - the third Quest apartment hotel to be built in Tauranga. Business and tourism experts say the new development will help to bring business people into the CBD. Zoe Hunter reports.
An iconic Mount Maunganui restaurant is being demolished to make way for a 40-apartment hotel development worth $15 million.
Breakers cafe and bar, which has occupied the corner of Rata St and Maunganui Rd for more than a decade, will be pulled down and replaced by a new Quest apartment hotel.
The announcement was made as part of the official opening of the $12 million Quest Tauranga Central apartment hotel at 71 Devonport Rd today.
The $15m two-storey Quest development in Mount Maunganui will include 40 apartments as well as office or retail space.
The prime site at 290 Maunganui Rd has been tenanted by the Breakers family restaurant chain for more than a decade before Wallace Development bought it about 18 months ago.
Wallace Development Company Limited development manager Tyler Tabak, who grew up in the Mount, said the site was "undoubtedly iconic".
"We see the site as a gateway to Mount Maunganui," he said. "We spent a considerable amount of time coming up with a design that would do that corner justice."
Tabak said the company was interested to hear from businesses that wished to occupy the "significant amount" of retail space on the ground floor.
Breakers did not want to comment.
However, a sign on the restaurant doors read: "We regret to advise that after 15 years we have had to close the doors of Breakers Mount Maunganui."
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"The new landlord has plans to redevelop this site and triggered a demolition clause in our lease, so we have no choice but to shut down the restaurant and look for a new location. Nothing has been confirmed yet."
Rosie O'Grady's Irish Pub on Rata St will also be affected. Its owner also did not wish to comment.
Quest Apartments NZ chief executive Stephen Mansfield said Quest Mount Maunganui was expected to open in early 2021.
Mansfield said the new development was in a prime location for business travellers to Mount Maunganui and would help boost accommodation in the area.
"Where we are located in the Mount serves the Port [of Tauranga] facility, Zespri, and other local business along that strip," he said.
The Mount Maunganui development will be the third Quest apartment hotel to be built in Tauranga. Quest Tauranga Central officially opens today.
Mansfield said the new apartment hotel in the CBD was a long time coming.
"A lot of the feedback we have had is when Tauranga is full it is full and business people can't get in. So they either have to cut short their trips or delay their trips," he said.
"It makes sense. It is the fastest-growing region in New Zealand."
Quest Tauranga Central franchise director Craig McKenzie said the new development would benefit businesses in the city centre as guests spent money at local restaurants and supermarkets.
Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said there was a strong market for business people in the Bay.
Dunne said the biggest challenge for investors was finding available land and she was pleased Quest had secured a site in Mount Maunganui for more accommodation.
Downtown Tauranga chairman Brian Berry said the completion of the Quest development confirmed there was an end to the CBD's transformation phase that was better than what the previous buildings offered.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said more people living and staying in the CBD would help liven the city centre outside business hours.
"It is particularly great news for the hospitality sector," he said.
"It will complement the existing hotels and apartments in the new Farmers building."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt expected to see some exciting changes for Devonport Rd in the future as part of the wider rejuvenation of the city.
"It's great to see Quest leading that change," he said.
National Party leader Simon Bridges said at the official opening the city centre needed more accommodation as part of its ongoing revitalisation.
"There is not enough accommodation. We need more," he said.