Strong winds have played with formalities at this mornings official opening ceremony at Tauranga Crossing.
The $50 million first phase of the development at the Tauriko retail hub involves the opening of Pak'n'Save, The Warehouse, Noel Leeming and Warehouse Stationary which anchor the shopping centre.
The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationery and ANZ were the first to open at the centre on 15th September.
The four major brands will be joined by Pak'n Save, ProfessioNail, The Crossing Pharmacy and Sharing Shed when they open their doors to the public tomorrow.
Throughout the months of October and November, Eves Realty, HelloWorld, Hollywood Bakery, House of Travel, Look Sharp and Vivo Hair & Beauty will open, as well as an outdoor food and hospitality lane, "The Millyard".
Hospitality vendors include The Coffee Club, Pita Pit, Hello Sushi, Spice Traders and The Mill House.
The balance of stage one is almost fully committed, and additional retailers will be announced over the coming weeks as the documentation is completed.
A karakia was held at 7am before officials shared cups of coffee ahead of the Tauranga Crossing's plaque unveiling, which came earlier than planned due to weather.
Tauranga City Mayor Stuart Crosby and city council chief executive Garry Poole joined Tauranga Crossing directors Richard Stillwell and Mark Taylor, plus Chris Quin, chief executive of Foodstuffs North Island, and Tim Edwards, chief executive Noel Leeming.
Mr Crosby address the crowd, saying the new shopping centre was good for the city and he was proud of the working relationship the council had with Crossing developers.
A strong gust of wind then blew the covering off the plaque just before it was about to be officially unveiled.
Mr Crosby joked he must have been talking for too long if the weather gods were trying to speed him along.
Mr Stillwell said it was great to get to this stage.
The next stage of development will include the construction of Event Cinemas.
The formalities finished with a guided tour through the stores and Stage 2.
The future stages of the shopping centre will comprise an enclosed mall which will host national and international brands, new dining and entertainment concepts and an extended carpark.
Tauranga Crossing Event Cinema complex is already confirmed, with six general admission cinemas including New Zealand's first regional Vmax cinema with spacious seating, a 24x9 metre digital screen and the latest Dolby Atmos speaker system, all contributing to the ultimate cinema experience. Site works have started and the six-theatre multiplex will open in the middle of 2018, with more than 1000 seats.
Tauranga Crossing plans also include a bulk retail centre to be known as The Depot, a third development on the opposite side of Taurikura Drive.
This neighbouring site is designed to accommodate about 23,000sq m of larger scale lifestyle and homeware stores. The Depot is due to open in late 2017.