It's a hive of activity again at the former Outdoorsman Headquarters site on Tarawera Rd with demolition work under way to make way for new tenants.
Rotorua developer Tony Bradley bought the building at the start of this year and is busy preparing it for new tenants who will open their doors by November 1.
The main tenant is a yet-to-be revealed government department that will join Bike Culture and a new business called Body Headquarters.
It was the end of a retail era when Rotorua couple Bryan and Lya French retired and closed Outdoorsman Headquarters in January after 17 years.
Bradley from TPB Properties bought the property, something he had tried to do for several years as he also owns the block on the corner that includes the Good Eastern Taphouse and Anytime Fitness.
Bradley said he was in the process of pulling parts of the former Outdoorsman building down to its "shell" and he would redevelop it in line with his other buildings next door.
"It's always been my aim. We are doing demolition work now and then will do some structural work and will do a full fitout in a couple of weeks."
He said he had already completed the refurbishment of the Bike Culture part of the building and it was looking good.
"When it's all done, it'll just tidy up that whole corner and look good."
The main tenant in the 900sq m space told the Rotorua Daily Post they weren't ready to reveal who they were publicly but would confirm they were a government department.
A spokesman said it was a fantastic location and they were excited to move there.
Ellen Pope from Rotorua Massage Therapy in the Redwood Centre and Kate Kendall Osteopathy from Haupapa St were combining under a new umbrella called Body Headquarters, which was a nod to the former Outdoorsman Headquarters.
Pope said they were thrilled to be part of the new building.
"We are lucky the opportunity has come up to be there, it's a great site."
Meanwhile, Bradley said he was thrilled to see Rotorua progressing and going ahead despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said he was so busy with projects, including demolition at 105 Old Taupo Rd for a yet-to-be-announced tenant, the completion of the new Bay of Plenty Regional Council office on Fenton St and a refurbishment of the Te Ngae Shopping Centre, that he'd had to put his "tool belt back on" and help his staff.
"I'm busier than ever. There are still deals to be done out there and tenants looking to move around. The key is just to keep going and stay positive."
Bike Culture moves from Rotorua's CBD
Free parking and being closer to the forest are two of the main reasons Bike Culture has said goodbye to Rotorua's central city after 13 years.
Co-owners Rob Smail and Mike Metz had run their business since 2007 on Pukuatua St but jumped at the chance to move to the new premises on Tarawera Rd.
The new store opened a month ago.
Smail said there was a lot of momentum on the Eastside with potential new subdivisions and the new forest hub carpark at the top of Tarawera Rd.
"Everyone has to drive past us to get to the forest and it's easier for our Tauranga customers.
"We have unlimited free parking now and parking in the CBD is one of the reasons we considered moving if we're honest."
He said it also felt nice to maintain the Outdoorsman Headquarters' theme being a shop focused on outdoors activity and they had tried to maintain the look of the old iconic store by recycling some of the timber.
"We are definitely not trying to be the new Outdoorsman but a lot of people come in here and ask where it is and it's nice to be able to help them out. It was a very successful and proud shop around for many years. We are happy to be keeping a slice of it somehow."