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City development rockets as firms keen to build

By Amy McGillivray

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Element IMF commercial manager Rachel Emerson said sales in the Tauriko Business Estate had been the best since 2006. Photo/John Borren
Element IMF commercial manager Rachel Emerson said sales in the Tauriko Business Estate had been the best since 2006. Photo/John Borren

The value of commercial building consents in Tauranga has almost tripled in the past year, new figures show.

Tauranga City Council figures show more than $16.1 million worth of commercial developments got the go-ahead last month compared with $5.7 million in March 2013.

Eight major projects worth a total of almost $14 million were among the buildings consented.

Those included the $3 million Brother International head office and warehouse in Tauriko and a $1 million warehouse for Marshall Waterproofing built by Bob Clarkson in the same area.

Rachel Emerson, commercial manager for development company Element IMF, said there were eight buildings under construction in the Tauriko Business Estate.

"Land is selling. We've had a slow couple of years.

"The last couple of weeks we've drawn up sale and purchase agreements, about two or three a week."

The translation of inquiries into actual sales this year had been the best it had been since 2006, she said.

"Quite often we have a couple of false starts and it always happens in January but this time it [the interest] is real."

There were importers, manufacturers, construction supply companies, transportation providers, chemical companies, concrete pre-fabricators, marine companies and kitchen manufacturers in the business estate.

Six lots were left in stage one of the development but stage two of the 30-year project was now selling.

Most companies moving into the industrial estate were shifting from other parts of Tauranga with some coming from further afield, Ms Emerson said. "There is a preference change. The Mount had been the preferred location but now people are liking Tauriko for the accessibility."

Ms Emerson said many businesses were moving because their premises were not big enough to cope with growing staff numbers.

People were now confident to make the move with the economy looking set to continue improving, she said.

There were 925 employees working in businesses within the estate but that number would grow to 1300 by the year's end, she said.

Priority One chief executive Andrew Coker told the Bay of Plenty Times it was great to see so much commercial development going ahead.

A study of 11 businesses that relocated to Tauriko from out of the region last year found they brought 227 jobs and $40 million in capital spending into the area, he said.

Countdown Bethlehem also got consent to begin a $1.8m refurbishment. A Countdown spokeswoman said work was under way on the refurbishment, which would provide a more modern shopping experience.

Otumoetai College also received consent to begin work to fix its leaky buildings.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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