Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

First shops about to open at Tauranga Crossing, the city's newest and largest shopping complex

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The Warehouse store manager Duncan Gardiner is primed and ready for opening of a new Tauranga store, one of the first shops to open as part of a $50 new shopping centre at Tauriko. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
The Warehouse store manager Duncan Gardiner is primed and ready for opening of a new Tauranga store, one of the first shops to open as part of a $50 new shopping centre at Tauriko. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

The first shops at Tauranga's newest and largest shopping complex are about to open.

The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationary and Noel Leeming will open their doors at Tauranga Crossing for business at 8am on Thursday.

The new Warehouse will be the fourth for the Tauranga area and general manager of operations Shane Cornelius said it would be one of 15 "modern" versions unlike anything already in the region.

''It's a concept we've been working on around the country,'' he said.

Mr Cornelius said the clothing area had been revamped to have ''a nice look and feel about it''. It would also offer serviced fitting rooms.

The new Tauriko-based store had also been designed with local people in mind, he said.

''It's got a real nice green garden outdoor plant area. Given the development that's going in that corner of the Tauranga area, I think that will be really well shopped by customers as they move in and set up their properties, do their landscaping.''

Mr Cornelius said they had been planning on establishing a Warehouse at Tauriko for a couple of years and staff had already been on site, setting the store up, for 12 weeks.

Tauranga's rapidly growing population was a big reason the retail chain wanted to open another store in the area, he said.

''We want to be where New Zealand customers are. There's no other reason other than being close to our customers. What's important is trying to make shopping easy for our customers.''

That included location and travel time, he said.

Mr Cornelius said he expected ''a few hundred'' people to be lining up from 6am on Thursday, as they celebrated with in-store one-day specials.

The three stores will eventually be among four major brands and more than 20 speciality stores at the $50 million shopping centre, which developers say will be the biggest in the Bay of Plenty once completed.

The official opening for the shopping complex would be held on September 26.

Supermarket chain Pak n' Save is holding a public opening on September 27 at 8am.

Upon completion, Tauranga Crossing will be 67,000sq m, more than double the size of Bayfair Shopping Centre.

Tauranga Crossing Ltd director Mark Taylor said stage one encompassed 17,000sq m with 780 car parks and had been in the pipeline since 2013.

Construction of the next stages of Tauranga Crossing would begin in 2017.

What's in store at Tauranga Crossing?

The first stage would host a range of shops.

Those that have been signed off for stage one of the development include ANZ, Eves Realty, HelloWorld, Hollywood Bakery, Looksharp, ProfessioNail, The Crossing Pharmacy and the Sharing Shed.

A food and hospitality lane, known as "The Millyard", is expected to open on October 1 and will feature Hello Sushi, Pita Pit, Spice Traders and The Coffee Club.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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