David is the business writer for the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post.

University land banking for future Tauranga campus development

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FUTURE-PROOFING: Waikato University has bought 176 Cameron Rd for future campus development. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
FUTURE-PROOFING: Waikato University has bought 176 Cameron Rd for future campus development. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Waikato University has bought a building on Cameron Rd as part of its strategy to "future-proof" the development of its new campus in the Tauranga CBD.

The property is 176 Cameron Rd, just above the location of the Durham St footprint for the proposed campus. The building on the site is currently occupied by Four Seasons BBQ & Spa.

"That particular property came up for sale so I convinced the university they should buy it and just hold on to it as this stage because it is so strategic to that whole frontage," university council member Paul Adams told the Bay of Plenty Times.

The property is expected to become part of stage two of the development of the campus. Under the current schedule, the main new campus building is expected to be completed by 2019-2020. The purchase also fits into the university's strategic objective of creating a tertiary precinct around the new campus.

"In terms of creating a decent campus we really want, over time, as much of the land on that whole footprint from Cameron Rd back to Durham St, and down to Elizabeth Rd and up to Spring St," said Mr Adams.

Waikato University senior deputy vice-chancellor, professor Alister Jones, said it was not yet decided how the property would be used in the interim, while the main campus building was being completed.

However, the university needed to land bank and future-proof around the site for further development, he said.

"The building provides easy access to the campus and we've bought it with that in mind. We are actively pursuing areas for investment for further growth."

The university was taking a long-term approach, he added. "What we're trying to do is create a legacy project for Tauranga."

Tauranga City Council chief executive Garry Poole said the university had made a strategic commitment to the city.

"It's good to see they are thinking about the growth of the university and how it can be managed in a holistic way."

Tauranga University of Waikato campus funding

• $30 million from Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust and Bay of Plenty Regional Council

• $25 million from University of Waikato

• Land donated by Tauranga City Council

- Bay of Plenty Times

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