Eclectic mix wanted for Mt Maunganui complex

5:00 AM Saturday June 11, 2016 Paul Charman

An artist’s impression of the Mount Central development.

Mixed-retail and food and beverage operators are being sought as tenants for a multimillion-dollar complex right in the heart in one of New Zealand’s top tourism destinations.

Six new tenancies in stage two of the Mount Central development — on the corner of Banks Ave and Maunganui Rd in Mt Maunganui, Tauranga — will be available from November this year.

Colliers brokers Duncan Woodhouse and Chloe Franklin-Hall are seeking expressions of interest now.

“We are aiming for a mix of eclectic food and retail brands to match the contemporary feel of the entire development, which has been architecturally-designed to incorporate both the modern aspect and beachy feel of the streets of Mt Maunganui,” Woodhouse says.

“The first stage of the development comprises a large F&B opportunity, along with a homewares store, while the second will likely house mixed-retail plus F&B operators — with both stages anticipated to be completed in November this year. This will be the first development of its kind in Mt Maunganui on a landmark corner we expect will shift focus from the Mount’s main retail strip.”

Limited sites are available ranging in size from 86sq m to 123sq m are on offer as part of stage two, Woodhouse says.

“Operators will want to take advantage of both the holiday resort ambience, as well as the significant pedestrian flow from the Ports Cruise Terminal, and we expect these premises to be highly sought after.”

Construction has started on the complex, which will be two buildings with a central “covered street”, giving pedestrians access from the car park, he says.

“Developed by Richard Seton of Seton Investments, this complex is the largest retail space offered in Mt Maunganui’s business centre in almost a decade and will bring something entirely new to — as well as rejuvenate — the area.

“Many businesses have expressed interest in the sites, but tenancy selection will be very considered to ensure a good fit with tenants and the overall feel and image of the development.”

A key aspect of the development is its location, Franklin-Hall points out.

“The property is positioned on a high-profile corner site, only minutes’ walk away from the Mount’s cruise ship terminal. Cruise New Zealand expected 160,100 people to come to visit the Bay of Plenty on cruise ships during the 2015-16 season — up on the 152,000 predicted for last season — tipped to bring in a colossal $40.5 million to the region.”

“We expect the tenants in this development will benefit from the unique position to leverage and capitalise on the tourism expenditure.”

Cruise ship tourist volumes are only expected to increase in coming years, Franklin-Hall says. “The 2016- 2017 season is expected to be even stronger, with the first visit of $1.25 billion superliner Ovation of the Seas.”

Overall, Mt Maunganui’s economic growth continues to rise, Franklin-Hall says. “Statistics NZ forecasts show the Bay of Plenty has the highest levels of employment growth of 13 per cent — outstripping Canterbury, Waikato and Auckland — and has trumped Auckland in the NZ Regional Economic Scoreboard, the report noting the area’s strong housing market, with many cashed-up Aucklanders moving to the region.”

Overall, Tauranga is one of New Zealand’s main centres for business, international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science, Franklin-Hall says.

“The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s largest port in terms of gross export tonnage and efficiency, and the city itself is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing cities — and fifth largest.

“Tauranga just continues to grow. The population is booming, young professionals are moving to the area and the labour pool is expanding, and as more businesses are established in the area, hotel and conference facilities — as well as F&B premises, offices and residential areas — have been built to service their needs.”