A new fast food restaurant is on its way for Rotorua's eastern suburbs, one of several new developments contributing to a rise in residential and commercial building consents compared to last year.
The exterior and groundwork for Texas Chicken on Te Ngae Rd, which will be finished by the end of the year and will create 30 to 40 jobs, was one of the most valuable consents Rotorua Lakes Council granted in May.
In the year to May 31 the total value of building consents issues was $118 million, up from $99.5m at the same time last year.
In May 2018 alone, 130 consents were granted.
Of those, 14 were commercial consents worth $2.7 million and 116 were residential consents worth $5.9 million.
The consents with the highest value in May were for an "addition to a shed" filed by Icing International Limited to the value of $1 million, and for the "shell for a fast food restaurant" to R & B Consultants to the value of $600,000.
R & B Consultants director Ray Cook said the consent included ground work and the exterior of the building and the interior would be fitted out separately by the tenant-to-be, Texas Chicken.
"We've applied for building consent for a fast food restaurant to be built. Construction has just started on site, we've demolished the existing building and ground work is happening," Cook said.
Cook estimated the restaurant at 334 Te Ngae Rd would be finished by the end of the year.
"Obviously we think it's a great location for the type of business going in there. It's going to be a great addition to the existing tenants," he said.
The tenant, George Constantinou said the franchise had been looking to expand from its three Auckland stores for a couple of years when they found the Rotorua site.
"We're pretty excited to open up. It all fell into place. We did a lot of research on different areas," he said.
"It's a different alternative to what's existing in the New Zealand market and it will create a bit of interest."
Constantinou said the store would create 30 to 40 jobs when open as well as those created through construction. He hinted there may be more Texas Chicken stores to come.
Meanwhile, Bayleys agent Beth Millard said there were some exciting developments soon to be announced at Lynmore Junction, also off Te Ngae Rd.
Alongside Paul Sanford from Harcourts, the pair were working on a new tenant for stage three of Lynmore Junction, which was the empty shell at the site that runs between Motion Entertainment and the individual businesses.
"We are very close to being able to tell people what it is. There is a change to the resource consent in with the council currently ... What we have lined up there will be a perfect fit."
The most valuable consent granted in April was to Central North Island Free Kindergarten Association to restore a flood damaged building and extension to the existing floor plan, to the value of $300,000.
Central Kids chief executive Philip Grady said the work would take two to three months and followed bad flooding to the Owhata-based kindergarten last year.
"We wanted to use this opportunity to renovate and modernise the building. Within that it's a full internal revamp and extension to make the entrance more user-friendly for families and children coming in," he said.
Pukeroa Oruawhata general manager Peter Faulkner said there were not any more vacancies at Trade Central but he couldn't reveal what businesses were bound for the site.
"We've actually received or continued to receive strong interest from prospective tenants. To be honest I think it's the drawing power of Kmart," Faulkner said.
Residential consents can be for anything from additions to a house to re-jibbing, while commercial consents can include shop fit outs or new sheds.
One shop currently being fit out is Nando's on Tutanekai St.
Former owner and Rotorua councillor Raj Kumar said that was overdue.
"When I did it, that was October 2007. It's been almost 10 years so that was outdated," he said.
The fit-out is expected to run for five to six weeks and began at the start of June.
Rotorua Lakes Council's operations group manager Henry Weston said the type of consents being filed was changing.
"In the past, consents tended to be for infill lots but that has now shifted to include lifestyle and multi-lot subdivisions," Weston said.
"At the moment there are a handful of large residential developments either consented or in pre-application discussions so it's looking positive in terms of upcoming developments."
He said perceptions of Rotorua had changed and the council dealt with a lot of inquiries from developers outside the area.
"Land owners and developers, in general, are more confident and the value of land now means there will be a return for them," he said.
There is also space for new development on the corner of Te Ngae Rd and Marguerita St.
Two lots on the corner have been leased to Waitomo Fuel and a liquor store and four more are available.
Figures for year to May 31
•Total value of building consents issued $118m, up from $99.5m at the same time last year.
•146 building consents for new dwellings, up from 90 at the same time last year.
•83 subdivision consents issued with 152 potential additional lots (92 residential and 59 lifestyle).
•Council is currently processing subdivision consents for a further 78 lots (40 lifestyle, 26 green field residential and 12 infill lots).