Plans for a $6 million retail centre on Papamoa Beach Road have been unveiled by the Coast Papamoa Beach subdivision developer.
The centre will be at the subdivision's entrance and include a convenience store, gourmet cafe, handful of small retail outlets, and could be open by the year's end, developer Steve Short told the Bay of Plenty Times.
The Environment Court last month approved plans for the 1900sq m village-style development after successful negotiations between Mr Short, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
The retail precinct will provide Coast Papamoa Beach residents and the wider area with a place to buy basic groceries and enjoy a coffee by the beach, Mr Short said.
"It's for the whole area of Papamoa between Bayfair and Palm Beach Plaza, there's been no convenient store to go to for many years and I think this solves the problem," he said.
Mr Short said a retail precinct was always part of the subdivision's master plan and he was excited to be able to proceed.
"It's what's going to change things here for me at Coast. It really just gives us an identity. It gives us some construction at the front of the site and it will bring people into the development."
Mr Short had not spoken with potential retailers but hoped the cafe would become a drawcard.
"This time next year the cafe at Coast Papamoa beach will provide the best food, the best coffee, and places for the kids to play. It'll be a fresh, stylish beach cafe," he said.
The Bay of Plenty Times Weekend spoke to nearby residents who said they welcomed the shops.
Steve Ryan, who lives about 200m from the proposed centre, said: "Bayfair is a pain, the parking is not that great and it always seems to be pretty busy, so [shops at Coast] would be convenient for me."
Another change planned for the subdivision was the removal of the front gates and the handing over of responsibility for the internal roads to the council.
Council road corridor manager Bruce Galloway said it was "fantastic" the area was opening up.
"This is a joint move between council and Coast Papamoa Beach and means progress for the area in terms of providing a link with the main road, the interchange and the new Tauranga Eastern Link when it opens up," he said.
Coast Papamoa Beach is being developed by Frasers Papamoa, and will eventually be home to about 2000 people living in a mix of stand-alone houses, townhouses and apartments.
The company will this year release a new range of architecturally-designed houses priced at $600,000.