A five-star hotel fit out worth nearly $11 million makes up the bulk of the $14.3 million in commercial consents lodged in Rotorua in the first two months of 2018.

The consent for $10,920,000 was lodged in January and is to fit out Rotorua's new five-star Pullman Hotel, which is on track to open at the end of this year.

The hotel, to be managed by AccorHotels, will have panoramic views of the city and lake area and feature an executive lounge, business lounge, chill-out lounge, restaurant and bar, gymnasium, car parking as well as five meeting rooms catering for conference and events.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick with Chow Group Management Ltd director John Chow outside the Zen Building.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick with Chow Group Management Ltd director John Chow outside the Zen Building.

Chow Group Management Ltd announced in 2015 it had awarded AccorHotels the
management contract for its Rotorua hotel development pegged for the former Zen Building on Arawa St.

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AccorHotels director of marketing Lucy Acott said it was too early to reveal more details about the hotel, but said the recruitment process would begin "five to six months prior to opening".

"What I can say categorically is that we always try to employ locally and it is very rare that we are unable to fill positions locally. Details like the number of positions available won't be available until at least June."

Zen building on Arawa St. Photo/File
Zen building on Arawa St. Photo/File

Chow Group Management Ltd's Vicki Chow said while negotiations with tendering contractors were still being finalised, work was expected to begin next month.

"In the meantime we have been busy gutting all of the old fit out so effectively the contractors will start with clean slate floors.

"It is a major project which will involve renewing the entire interior into a five star, modern hotel."

Chow said the plan was to have a "practical completion" of the hotel by the end of this year, but "we will not rush to open before it's ready so that may change depending on progress during the year".

She said the objective was to build the "most modern and desirable hotel in Rotorua".

"Our investment is much more than $10m. It's a multimillion-dollar development.

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"It's a great building in a central location and we want it to become a landmark for Rotorua."

The second biggest commercial consent was lodged last month by Tumahaurangi Marae trustees for a new wharekai, with a price tag of $1.4m.

For the three month period to February, there were 36 commercial consents issued by the Rotorua Lakes Council, to the value of $18.5m. The number of consents were down 20.9 per cent from the same period last year, but the work value saw a 2.8 per cent rise.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Allison Lawton said development in the commercial sector was another positive step forward.

"There's been a positive feel in Rotorua for a while and we are now seeing that translate into investment being spent in the commercial sector.

"We're seeing a mix of new businesses coming to the city and established businesses expanding or undergoing refurbishment.

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"There's still a way to go but the fact we're seeing investment in the city is fantastic."

She said the development of the Pullman Hotel was good for the business sector, but "more importantly good for the tourism industry".

"Having a five-star hotel will increase premium visitation from that high end. It will have a positive effect on tourism outfits across the city."

Meanwhile $4.3m worth of residential consents were lodged in February, a 12.4 per cent increase in work value compared with February 2017.

There were seven new dwelling consents issued for the month, with a total work value of $2.4m.