A Maori blessing is planned early next week for the first $40 million stage of a new $100 million-plus Bay of Plenty shopping centre which will be the size of nine rugby fields.
Much of the Tauranga Crossing site has yet to be developed but on completion, it will have 67,000sq m or 6.7ha of indoor floor areas, more than double the size of Bayfair Shopping Centre.
Mark Taylor, a director of the business, said that on Tuesday, Kalani Tarawa of Ngai Tamarawaho would bless the first stage of the centre with more than 20 shops and that would mark the official opening, though shops are already trading.
The hub is at the intersection of State Highway 28, State Highway 36 and Takitimu Dr and Taylor said it was designed to cater for the growing Tauranga community, neighbouring the Tauriko Business Estate - a new workplace for more than 5000 people - and The Lakes residential estate, to be home to 7,000 residents on completion.
But Tauranga Crossing also has a big new Pak'nSave supermarket where half the floor had to be torn up and re-laid due after problems during construction.
In July, Taylor told how faults were discovered once the entire floor was laid, meaning there were no other options other than to remove about half and start again, he said.
Peter McCawe, Hawkins central regional manager, said his company was managing some remedial work on the concrete slabs.
"This is been undertaken due to a number of armoured joints and adjoining floor areas not meeting engineering tolerances within the specifications," McCawe said at the time.
Tauranga Crossings' directors are listed in the Companies Office as Taylor of Queenstown, Auckland businessman Adrian Burr of Herne Bay and Remuera's Richard Stilwell.
Taylor said that next month and in November, more new stores would open. They include Eves Realty, HelloWorld, Hollywood Bakery, House of Travel, Looksharp and Vivo Hair & Beauty.
Outdoor food and hospitality lane The Millyard is also being built and tenants to move in there are The Coffee Club, Pita Pit, Hello Sushi, Spice Traders and The Mill House, Taylor said.
A new mall with cinemas is also planned for the site.
"The future stages of the shopping centre 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 24m x 9m 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," Taylor's statement said.
A new bulk retail centre, The Depot, will be built on the opposite side of Taurikura Dr.
"This neighbouring site is designed to accommodate approximately 23,000sq m of larger scale lifestyle and homeware stores. The Depot is due to open in late 2017," Taylor said.
A spokesperson for The Warehouse said that last Wednesday, three stores opened: a 5500sq m Warehouse employing 46 staff, a Noel Leeming employing 10 and a Warehouse Stationary employing a further 10 staff.