Commercial buildings worth nearly $6 million are set to be built in Tauranga after being approved last month.
Two new industrial buildings worth $3 million helped make March a big performer for building consents.
Figures obtained by the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend show council consents last month totalled $5.7 million - $5 million more than for March 2012.
Easily the largest was garden supplies company Tui Products' 10,000sq m building in Truman Lane valued at $1.1 million for the shell of a structure that will cover the equivalent of nearly two rugby fields.
Bob Clarkson's latest development at Tauriko was the most expensive at $1.9 million for a completed 2500sq m building in Poturi St.
The growth in the building sector looks set to continue for at least the early part of this year, with building consents in March totalling 176 - up by one-third on last year. Seventy-eight of these were for new homes.
Mr Clarkson's consent was for half of what will be one building straddling two titles, each half separated by a firewall so they can be let separately.
He was frustrated by council rules that forced him into making two consent applications on two separate sets of plans for what was the same building. "I can't see the logic of it."
The completed $3.8 million development will cost him nearly $80,000 in council impact fees.
But Mr Clarkson saved himself nearly $500,000 by lodging his consent prior to the introduction of new Government fire regulations next week that would have required him to install sprinkler systems.
It will be his second industrial development at Tauriko, joining the smaller $1 million building in Whakakake St leased to an engineering business. He has leased one half of the new building to a household goods bulk storage company.
Mr Clarkson said he continued to be concerned by the shortage of heavy load industrial land in Tauranga, saying it would all be gone in six months. The extra 4.5ha was "peanuts" compared with future demand.
Meanwhile, $17.6 million worth of consents for 48 new houses were issued in March. This was 24 fewer consents than for March last year but only $650,000 less.
Council building administration team leader Helen Marshall said the difference was because 28 of last year's consents were for units in Ryman Healthcare's retirement village in Bethlehem.
The other feature of the council's consents was the 114 per cent increase in the value of permits issued for additions and alternations to houses, reaching $3.45 million for March.