Mount Maunganui is an iconic destination for locals and holidaymakers alike so it's no wonder everybody wants to live there. But land in the trendy suburb is rarer than hen's teeth however some smart developers are looking upwards to solve the problem. Zoe Hunter looks at a multi-million dollar hotel project and talks to businesses in the area.
A new $15 million Quest apartment hotel to open on a prime Mount site will attract more people and help identify the area as an "international destination", business owners say.
But there are fears the extra business could put more pressure on the current infrastructure.
A new two-storey development will be built on the corner of Rata St and Maunganui Rd, which has been occupied by the Breakers cafe and bar for more than a decade.
The development will include 40 apartments as well as office or retail space and was expected to open in early 2021.
Mount Mainstreet manager Mandy Gillgren said the Quest's new location was on an iconic corner.
"We want to be recognised as an international destination and having accommodation like the Quest in a prime location in Mount Maunganui is going to be exciting," she said.
However, Gillgren said it would put extra pressure on the current infrastructure.
"Being on a peninsula we have obvious limitations," she said.
"However the more accommodation we can provide for visitors will hopefully start to contribute to the Mount being an all-year round destination which is what we are striving for."
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty regional manager Alan Sciascia said the new Quest would add another accommodation option for the area, which was becoming increasingly popular among visitors to the region.
"Such visitors usually take advantage of local eateries and other amenities so we do expect to set benefits for nearby hospitality and other retail businesses," he said.
The Pizza Library co-owner Mark Lucer said it was a shame the iconic Breakers cafe and bar had to close.
However, he said Quest was a go-to place for accommodation around the country and would help to bring more people to the Mount.
"This roundabout is definitely a destination point," he said. "We definitely don't have the foot traffic that the Mount Mainstreet does, so this will bring more foot traffic down this end."
Lucer said the corner site was a prime spot for business.
"Most people believe that once they have crossed the bridge that they have hit the Mount once they have hit that roundabout," he said.
"That is a reasonable amount of people to add to the custom," he said. "We love our Mount locals, they are who keep us going through the winter. But 40 new rooms across the road is exciting."
Mount Mellick did not wish to comment.
Wallace Development Company Limited bought the 2118sq m site including Breakers cafe and bar and Rosie O'Gradys about 18 months ago.
Development manager Tyler Tabak said all existing buildings built in the 1950s and 1960s will be demolished to make way for the new development.
Tabak said the new Quest apartment hotel will provide a much-needed boost to the local accommodation.
"The new Quest site is walking distance to all the best food and beverage establishments in the Mount," he said.
"With the Port of Tauranga and Zespri headquartered in the Mount, it will also provide for the corporate end of town and their domestic and international guests."
Tabak said the new apartment hotel will also support the Bay Oval, which hosts international and domestic cricket games each summer.
It will also provide accommodation during annual sporting events such as the AIMS Games and summer concerts including Bay Dreams, he said.
"We see good quality accommodation like this as an essential component of continued growth and success of Mount Maunganui as a business and tourism hub," he said.