A small crowd braved the rain to see the doors of Tauranga Crossing open.
The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery and Noel Leeming opened for business at 8am this morning.
About 15 people queued up to be the first customers through.
The Warehouse Tauranga area and general manager of operations Shane Cornelius was happy with how the opening went.
"We're just looking forward to serving our customers in the Tauranga area and looking forward to trading well through this period," he said.
For Lakes residents Sharon and Warena Arena, Tauranga Crossing means they no longer have to fight traffic and pay for parking to do their shopping.
"It's closer to home and very convenient - we could even walk here and leave our car behind if we wanted," Ms Arena said.
Ms Arena said she was looking forward to when all the shops opened, especially a gift shop.
Tauranga Crossing was already attracting young families, tired of driving with their kids into town or Bayfair.
Kane and Zoe Spalding, from Omokoroa, were there with their son Connor.
"It's more accessible. Previously we had to do our shopping all over because there's no where other than Bayfair with things all in one place," Mr Spalding said.
He said he would like to see a Mitre 10 or other DIY store come to the shopping centre.
"A cafe would be good, too, there's nothing around here other than the BP," Ms Spalding said.
Rebecca Fergus came to check out the new shopping centre with her two girls, Violet, 1 and April, 3 from near Whakamarama.
They had already bought matching hats for summer from the Warehouse, where the girls were stoked to put their charity tokens towards their playcentre, Tauriko Playcentre which needed a new slide.
Ms Fergus said there was no traffic and she easily got a park.
"It will be better when there are food shops and cafes," she said.
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.