The owner of Zio's Pizzeria in Moncton is hoping to begin construction on his new long-awaited "mega-restaurant" in April, despite being months behind schedule.

Sandro Speranza has been slowly buying up lots around the corner of Mountain Road and Church Street for many years.

"I'm totally excited about the whole thing," he said. "My parents landed here in 1969 with $62 in their pocket. My parents are passed on now and I've continued to cook here."

The new development was originally estimated to be about 13,000-square feet and worth more than $4 million. 

Speranza said it took eight months to get approval from the bank. He cut back his project by 4,000-square feet, but said he plans to start work soon.

Even with the downsizing, Speranza said the restaurant will be 8,500 square feet with plenty of green space and parking for guests.

"We are looking at end of this month, first week of April before we start digging," he said.

He hopes the restaurant will be open by October of this year at the latest.

Speranza told CBC in August that he has been dreaming of opening a large-scale restaurant since 1985.

"This is built for my neighbourhood that I was born in. I never thought I'd ever do it, but it just came," he said at the time.