Another bank is to move to Rotorua's Central Mall _ fast turning it into the city's new centre of commerce.
ANZ is to shift from its current location on the corner of Hinemoa and Amohia Sts into a new building being constructed at the mall, which has concerned Rotorua's Chamber of Commerce because of the struggling central business district.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Roger Gordon said he would have liked the bank to remain in the CBD but could see some positives to the move.
The two-storey building, set for completion in March/April, sits between the Westpac and BNZ buildings. ANZ will occupy most of the ground floor with retail space on the rest and office space on the entire first floor.
An ANZ spokesman said the relocation was an exciting development for its Rotorua customers as it would mean better access, parking and facilities as well as extended opening hours.
"The new mall branch will be open seven days a week, and for longer hours than the existing branch,'' he said.
"Our vision is to be available where and when customers need us.''
He said feedback from customers was that the mall was a popular and convenient location.
"Foot traffic at Rotorua Central is the highest in town.''
Along with extended opening hours, ANZ has other plans in the making.
"We will be installing new technology at the new branch including an intelligent deposit ATM [which accepts bank notes and cheques], a coin counting machine and internet banking. Also, staff will be using `cash recycling units' which allows us to provide a more open branch while maintaining a high level of security.''
The spokesman said no relocation date had been confirmed but it would probably be around autumn next year.
Bill Wilson of Bayleys said 727sq m of office space was available for lease on the building's first floor and would be subdivided as required.
With construction still in its early stages _ foundations are laid and walls are going up _ Mr Wilson said he was not yet actively marketing the offices.
``We find that when people are looking for office space they want to do it now, not five to six months down the track,'' he said. Despite an over-supply of office space in the city, Mr Wilson said the brand new high-quality space surrounded by three major banks was likely to prove attractive.
``It's right in the heart of the central city commerce area,'' he said.
``It may be of interest to businesses associated in some way with the banking industry or those after professional-looking presentation.''
He said it was not surprising banks were moving to the mall area.
``More people congregate in and around that area than any other retail area,'' he said.
``Whether or not it's the right thing that they [banks] are all together that's not for me to say but they seem to want to be together.''
Mr Gordon said there were positives and negatives to having three of Rotorua's main banks in the mall. ASB, National and Kiwibank remain in the CBD.
He said while it wouldn't matter either way to the growing number of people who used internet banking, ANZ's move would definitely improve access for customers who still preferred to bank face to face.
``I understand why the banks have done it,'' he said.
But Mr Gordon said there was a downside for an already struggling central business district.
``It's one less reason for people to go into the CBD. Those that would have gone in to go to the bank would have gone to other shops,'' he said.
``I would have preferred to have retained them.''