Plans have been revealed for a world-class recreation, lifestyle, visitor and retail destination at the eastern end of the Rotorua Lakefront.
Te Arawa property company Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings and the Rotorua District Council announced yesterday that they had been working closely on concepts for developing the city's under-used lakefront.
Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings is a subsidiary of the Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, which is owned and operated by Te Arawa hapu Ngati Whakaue. The trust is also developing Trade Central - a multi-million dollar development on Amohau St, which includes a new Mitre 10 Mega.
Retail Consulting Group director John Long, whose company is the planning and retail consultant for Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings, said the company wanted to develop land they owned in the Lakefront area into a world-class recreation, lifestyle, visitor and retail destination, with strong links to Rotorua's central business district revitalisation programme being developed by the district council.
The land includes the site of QE Hospital, other adjacent buildings and vacant space further east of the site.
Mr Long said concepts had been presented to Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters and councillors as part of a process to prepare a master plan.
Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings chairman Malcolm Short said the master plan vision for developing the site would potentially see investment in a mix of upmarket retail, dining, recreation, cultural, accommodation, and health and wellbeing facilities.
Mr Long said it would be an accessible, active and vibrant urban edge for the benefit of the whole community and would provide an important economic boost. He said the development could include upmarket visitor accommodation, possibly a hotel and upmarket residential apartments.
Mr Long said they were waiting for a geotechnical report for the entire site before releasing further details.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Dr Toby Curtis said his board was fully supportive of the concept and looking forward to working with Pukeroa and the council. He described the proposals as very exciting and said they had the potential to substantially improve the wellbeing of the Rotorua community and add new vitality to the local economy.
Mr Winters said Pukeroa's "incredibly inspiring" vision was a perfect fit with council's own plans.
"It's totally complementary to our own aspirations to revitalise the CBD and to optimise the links with the lakefront, Tutanekai St, Government Gardens and Kuirau Park, through to Rotorua Central mall. The development would put in place a final piece in the CBD development jigsaw, and help anchor the northern end of the CBD and connect existing city blocks to the lake."
Mr Winters said the council anticipated the large-scale, high-quality development would play a big part in Rotorua being able to recapture the status of New Zealand's pre-eminent visitor and lifestyle destination.
"We're particularly pleased to see another bold investment by Te Arawa in our city, following their very successful development of Rotorua Central at the other end of town."
He said the organisations would continue to work together to incorporate the plan into the council's current District Plan review.