Pukeroa Oruawhata Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bay of Plenty Iwi Ngati Whakaue, approached RCG in the early 1990s with an ambitious request: to turn a 13 hectare abandoned railway yard into a regional shopping destination. Rotorua was already a popular tourist destination but had no major shopping centre. The Iwi owners wanted to boost employment and bring in more retailers to a town with poor consumer demographics. Pukeroa and RCG worked together and built the first major shopping centre in Rotorua.
It was a challenging opportunity and we began the process with extensive research on how to unlock the visitor and residential spending potential in the region. RCG undertook a significant review of current and future retail sales expectations for the region, and the potential demand for retail space as a result. We then worked with Pukeroa to develop an innovative master planning approach which created benefits for not only a diverse mix of CBD retailers, but also locals and the site’s owners.
RCG has worked with Pukeroa and managed the development process for more than 20 years and also designed the centre throughout its various development phases. Importantly we have achieved the objective of attracting a range of national retailers to the centre and enabled Rotorua residents to shop locally. With increased number of retailers and room to expand, employment opportunities in both retail and construction have grown.
“Rotorua Central”, as the shopping centre is now known, is now the key retail destination for locals and visitors to Rotorua. It has the highest pedestrian counts of any retail area in the city.
“Pukeroa Oruawhata Holdings have worked with RCG for over 22 years. Thanks to their property, retail consulting and architectural skills, and overall effort and partnership with Pukeroa, we now have one of the largest privately owned shopping centres in the country. What we like about RCG is that they listen and deliver results, both commercially and creatively.”
As a result...
For Pukeroa Oruawhata and their shareholders the long term investment has been beneficial. The value of the site has increased, such that bank funding was realised, all of which significantly reduced calls on cash from the owners.
The centre has being able to attract a wide range of quality retailers and along with the expertise of RCG, keep the retail environment modern and up to international standards. We are currently working on refreshing the centre’s architecture and tenant mix and working on further expansion plans.