- Revamp at CBD intersection - New restaurant for Eat Streat area

ROTORUA'S Eat Streat precinct is set to get at least one new restaurant as part of a major redevelopment on Whakaue St, while the building at a prominent intersection is set to get a facelift when it is transformed into an upmarket office block.

The Freedom Furniture site on the corner of Arawa and Fenton Sts will be converted into an upmarket office space by September, while work on the Lakesyde Business Centre in Whakaue St is under way with the flats being demolished and at least one new restaurant confirmed as part of the redevelopment.

Rotorua Lonestar owner Andy Allan has signed up to occupy a chunk of the complex - and plans to establish one or two hospitality businesses there.

Mr Allan said he wasn't sure whether it would be Lonestar or another business but he was definitely going to be opening up one, possibly two, restaurants, bars or cafes at the site.


He said he was still working through details on whether it would mean moving Lonestar from its current location on the corner of Amohia and Arawa Sts or creating something new, but with the momentum being created on Eat Street he was keen to get closer to the action.

Mr Allan said he felt for those who weren't in the vicinity of Eat Streat or Tutanekai St - and said it had certainly affected Lonestar.

"If you don't adjust, you die. Let's get down there as well and be part of it."

Mr Allan said the space he'd signed up for was about 550sq m, which would seat between 200 and 250 people, so it might be divided into two distinct areas.

Mr Allan said he would make a decision in the next month, with the plan to open by October or November.

The first tenants should move into the Lakesyde Business Centre in July.

Several flats have recently been demolished to make way for the development, which is a joint venture between Tony Bradley of TPB Properties and his parents Paul and Jenny.

Mark Rendell of Bayleys Rotorua, who is marketing the development, said work was going to plan with the initial earthworks under way and plans now with the council.

He said he expected the project to be finished towards the end of this year.

Mr Rendell said GMO Renewable Resources had been confirmed as a tenant moving from the Zen Centre, while there was another tenant who could not be named at this stage.

He said there was still room available in the complex, ranging from 140sq m to 800sq m, and they were in negotiations with interested tenants and fielding lots of enquiries.

"Today's business owners are becoming increasingly conscious of the building image reflecting their business profile, and of staff welfare, so they are keen to get their staff into better working environments and safer buildings."

Meanwhile, Mr Rendell is also involved in marketing a planned new office complex on the corner of Arawa and Fenton Sts - the current Freedom Furniture store.

Mr Rendell said the space was fully leased with two high-profile tenants signed up.

He said there was a demand for high-quality office space with carparks in buildings that were up to a high earthquake standard.

Developer Mr Bradley said he had completed developments in the suburbs like Redwoods Centre and a similar facility in Fairy Springs, and his focus was now on the central business district.

"It's exciting, Rotorua has a good buzz and hopefully we can keep it going and tidy up the city."

Mr Bradley said the two developments should give "a bit of a boost to the CBD".

He bought the Arawa St building about three months ago and work will start on May 1, with the tenants moving in at the start of September.

Meanwhile in Lynmore, work is progressing on the multimillion-dollar Lynmore Junction, developed by Holmes Group.