Green light for Tauranga Marine Precinct

By David Porter

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Tauranga's Harbour Marine Precinct is officially a reality, with a successful tender process completed for the sale of lots for Stage One of the project. Photo/file
Tauranga's Harbour Marine Precinct is officially a reality, with a successful tender process completed for the sale of lots for Stage One of the project. Photo/file

Tauranga's Harbour Marine Precinct is officially a reality, with a successful tender process completed for the sale of lots for Stage One of the project.

Mayor Stuart Crosby today signed sale and purchase agreements with Hutcheson Boatbuilders, Pachoud Yachts, Pacific 7, RMD Marine, SMF Engineering and Super Yacht Coatings International.

The tender process - which closed in December - has received strong interest and commitment from the local marine industry. Five of the companies were already based in Tauranga, with four currently operating from the precinct area, while Super Yacht Coatings - whose owners originally come from the Bay of Plenty - is relocating from Auckland.

"It's fantastic to see the industry jump on board as they have," said Mr Crosby.

"We knew that the demand for a boat refit facility in Tauranga was strong, ever since the decommissioning of the slipway. Here we're not only reinstating this access, we're also providing the industry with a world-class hub in which to develop their businesses and collaborate."

The sale process resulted in an oversubscription with several companies tendering for multiple lots, and in some cases companies tendering for the same lots. Council staff worked with tenderers to define alternative locations and align tender values with Council's land valuations.

This resulted in a reviewed masterplan with 10,000 sq m of land sold to tenderers along Cross Road and in Den Place, and around the future hardstand. This includes two lots initially intended to be developed in future years, which the TCC decided to bring into Stage One to meet the demand.

Proceeds from the land sales will go towards the development of the Marine Precinct, primarily the provision of infrastructure. The BOP Regional Council is the funding partner, contributing $5 million through the Regional Infrastructure Fund.

The TCC's $5 million contribution will be partially offset by the sale of properties on and near the site. General manager city transformation Jaine Lovell-Gadd said she was unable to disclose specifics of the contractual agreements, but that the project was on target for the council's revenue projections.

Here we're not only reinstating this access, we're also providing the industry with a world-class hub in which to develop their businesses and collaborate.
Mayor Stuart Crosby

Project director Phil Wardale said he was pleased to see the offer had been taken up by a diverse mix of marine-based businesses, with strong support from existing users of the site.

"We will have a great spread of specialities represented in the Precinct, from fibre-glassing to marine engineering, vessel painting, timber decking, to composite building, a specialised workboat fleet and a fishing fleet," he said.

"This means increased potential for collaboration among precinct occupiers and with other marine businesses in the area. This is the first step in the Marine Precinct's strategy of providing a one-stop-shop for customers getting their vessels serviced in Tauranga.

''And thanks to our 350 tonne capacity vessel-hoist we'll be able to cater for a wide range of customers from around the Bay and New Zealand."

Work continues on the selection of a civil works construction company to build the 6,200 sq m hardstand and the new vertical seawall. The Tauranga Harbour Marine Precinct is now expected to open mid-2017.

The Marine Precinct
• A $10 million project to deliver a purpose-built marine servicing facility at Sulphur Point.
• Will provide a base for the boat building and refit businesses in Tauranga and will be managed by Tauranga City Council under the Vessel Works brand.
• By mid-2017 (stage 1 development), the precinct will include lots in a range of sizes for marine businesses, a 6,200m2 vessel storage area (hardstand), deep-water marina berths for large vessels and New Zealand's largest vessel hoist.
• Further development will be undertaken in stages, based on demand from the industry.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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