A corner site of prime land near Rotorua's Lakefront has just come on the market at an opportune time, opening up potential for further high-level development for the area.
The site, on the corner of Lake Rd and Rangiuru St, is being marketed as potentially a top spot for a new hotel or serviced apartments development.
It was announced this week the Government would invest $27.4 million from its Provincial Growth Fund for developments at the Rotorua Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest.
A fair chunk of that money, $19.9 million, will go towards a revamp of the Lakefront which is matching Rotorua Lakes Council's $20 million commitment in its Long-term Plan.
The site for sale is 2381sq m of freehold land on the high-profile corner opposite the Soundshell on one side and the Village Green on the other.
The current owner is Odessa Properties, of which local businessman Ray Cook is the managing director.
Cook told the Rotorua Daily Post the company had owned the land for about 16 years but it was now surplus to requirements and the time was right to sell.
Odessa Properties bought the site when it built the Novotel and Ibis hotels as a way to protect its investment.
Since selling the hotels and land, Cook said the site was no longer needed.
He said the company toyed with the idea of building its own hotel and service apartments over the years but nothing eventuated and other projects took priority.
Given the tourism boom, the Lakefront announcement and local hotel performance indicators, the timing was perfect to test the market, he said.
"What the council is doing there is pretty exciting and is what the Lakefront needs. It's pretty tired down there now and if it's going to come out like the plans, then I think it will be great."
Hotels at Colliers International national director Dean Humphries is tasked with finding a suitable hotel investor to redevelop the site.
"New Zealand is now in its sixth consecutive year of a tourism boom which has seen the demand for hotels increase exponentially in recent times," he said.
"With strong market conditions and existing hotels tightly held, this is creating opportunities for new hotel development in many regions throughout New Zealand."
He said while new development had recently been concentrated in Auckland and Queenstown, Rotorua had one of the best performing hotel markets in the last 12 months.
"Rotorua is now highly constrained in peak periods, creating an ideal opportunity for new hotel development."
Mark Rendell of Colliers International Rotorua said Rotorua had recently been named fourth in the world's best destinations for travel experiences by TripAdvisor.
"This prime corner freehold site is arguably the best tourism redevelopment opportunity in town," he said.
"The site has unobstructed views over Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island and out towards the Government Gardens. It is also just 400m to the heart of the city centre and in close proximity to many of the region's key tourism attractions."
Humphries said the site would be ideally suited as a new luxury hotel and spa resort or possibly a mixed-use development including residential or serviced apartments.
A 14-unit motel and bed and breakfast are currently on the site on a month by month lease.
The property is being marketed by way of an international deadline private treaty campaign closing at 4pm on October 18, unless it sells earlier.