Kitchen mecca in centre of Tauranga

By David Porter

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EXCITING TIMES:Tauranga general manager Ray Pullar at Palazzo's new Elizabeth St showroom.
EXCITING TIMES:Tauranga general manager Ray Pullar at Palazzo's new Elizabeth St showroom.

Palazzo Kitchens and Appliances, agents for several of the world's largest kitchen and appliance manufacturers, will open their doors in downtown Tauranga at the end of the month on what the company says will be New Zealand's biggest kitchen and appliances showroom.

Tauranga general manager Ray Pullar said the Tauranga location was specifically chosen for Palazzo's expansion into the North Island.

"We considered a number of locations throughout the North Island," he said. "Close proximity to an efficient port was essential and Tauranga certainly delivers that better than anyone else. We looked into it in detail and found that in every facet Tauranga exceeded our requirements compared to Auckland."

Palazzo was set up in 2003 and currently has smaller showrooms in Christchurch, Dunedin, Timaru and Wellington. The company is the New Zealand agent for German company Nobilia, the biggest European manufacturer of kitchen fittings and furniture. The new showroom, on Elizabeth St, will include 18 full display kitchens and a fully operational chef's demonstration kitchen.

It will offer complete kitchens, kitchen cabinets, worktops and top brand appliances and also plans to provide co-working spaces for local builders who may not have their own office, but need somewhere to meet with clients.

Priority One helped in the early stages of getting Palazzo set up in Tauranga.

"We're delighted to see a business like Palazzo establishing their operations and North Island beachhead in Tauranga," said Priority One chief executive Andrew Coker. "This is yet another example of a quality business attracted to the region because of the real advantages presented by the Port of Tauranga, combined with the growth potential and demographic mix."

Mr Pullar said Tauranga was ideal for its flagship showroom. "It has the right population mix for us with a healthy balance of new builds and renovations, there's easy access to the port and main arterial routes and we've been able to secure a location that allows us to be in the heart of the city."

He added that, although not yet officially open, the Tauranga showroom already had more than 50 kitchens either on order or in the design stage.

Mr Pullar said the company aimed to offer German quality at a competitive price, with kitchens costing about $15,000.

Mainstreet spokeswoman Sally Cooke said the showroom opening was another positive sign for the city centre. "It's exciting to see a company of this calibre choosing downtown Tauranga for their flagship showroom. As a company they have a strong focus on proactively supporting their local community so we're delighted to have them join us and they will also add another dimension to our city centre offerings."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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