Student accommodation, a boutique retirement village, residential apartments and a hotel are just some of the development ideas being thrown around for the prime piece of CBD land up for sale.

The Cameron Rd site - at present home to the Durham Motor Inn Tauranga - is bounded by Harington, Durham and Hamilton streets, and sits opposite Tauranga Domain.

City business commentators say that if fully redeveloped the 2755sq m site could play a significant role in the revitalisation of the CBD.

The inn's management lease expires this July, according to the listing agents, but there is an option for the new buyer to continue the lease - whether in the short term while new plans for the site were drawn up or for long-term use.

The site is currently home to the Durham Motor Inn Tauranga. Photo / Supplied
The site is currently home to the Durham Motor Inn Tauranga. Photo / Supplied

The property is being marketed for sale by international tender through Bayleys Tauranga, with tenders closing on April 5.

Bayleys Tauranga agents Brendon Bradley and Lynn Bradley have pitched the property, which is zoned "city centre" allowing for a high-rise building, as an opportunity for a major mixed-use redevelopment.

Brendon Bradley suggested an apartment block or hotel with retail or office space at the base as possibilities.

"Tauranga's commercial property sector has been mooting city-fringe hotel sites for a number of years now, and the demand is still there for a nationally branded four–to-five-star hotel operator to set up in Tauranga.

"It's also not beyond the realms of possibility that a retirement village operator
could build a boutique, central city, high-end assisted-living retirement complex on the site given the popularity of Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty for retirees," he said.

Priority One business partnership manager Mark Irving added student accommodation to that list, given the site's closeness to the new University of Waikato campus.

He said development of the site would have a positive effect on the ongoing revitalisation of the city centre.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec called on someone with a "big vision" to take on the "premium" site.

"It would be great to see this site being fully redeveloped in due course. We hope the new owners will have a suitably big vision for what can be done with it."

"More people living and staying in the CBD has to be an essential ingredient in any revitalisation plan."

The manager of the motor inn declined to comment.

The site

- 2755 square metres
- Rectangular
- Bounded by Harington, Durham and Hamilton Sts
- Freehold
- Zoned city centre
- Home to 20-room motor inn and commercial building
Source: Bayleys Tauranga
Tauranga council still negotiating with developer

Confidential negotiations are still under way between the Tauranga City Council and its preferred Heart of the City developer, council city-centre manager James Woodward said.

Willis Bond & Co was announced in December as the council's preferred partner in building a new administration building, surrounding open space and a hotel and conference centre in the city centre.

Woodward said the company could potentially also get involved in other big Heart of the City projects including the proposed new central library and museum.

He was not able to give a timeline for negotiations or discuss the next steps for the potential partnership.

Major commercial CBD developments

- Farmers redevelopment on Elizabeth St
- Craigs House development at 2 Devonport Rd
- Waikato University city campus on Durham Street
- The Reserve development on the corner of Willow and Harington Sts.
Source: Tauranga City Council