Developers of landmark Tauranga business ' />

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Developers of landmark Tauranga business centre are happy they have already secured quality tenants more than a year before the four-storey eco-friendly building is due to be completed Some of Tauranga's leading firms are moving into a new $30 million office building that will become a landmark business centre. Business people arriving at the modern centre, on the corner of Cameron Rd and Elizabeth St, will have access to all the professional services they need - lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, mortgage and insurance brokers, and hopefully civil engineers, project managers, bankers and architects. The four-storey, eco-friendly building on the old Bay Nissan site overlooking Waikareao Estuary is under construction and will be completed by September next year. It will be the biggest office building, presently named 247 Cameron, built in downtown Tauranga for nearly 20 years. The complex, housing 450 workers, will provide nearly 8000sqm of A grade office space, an auction room and a licensed cafe, as well as parking for 155 vehicles. Moving in are law firm Cooney Lees Morgan, chartered accountants Staples Rodway and KPMG, Bayleys Real Estate, Realty Services' management team and its associate company, Rothbury Financial Services. The owner of the property, Troop Investments, is finalising tenancy agreements with two international companies that have operations in Tauranga. All but 400sqm of the space is taken up, and a spokesman for Troop, Richard Cashmore, said he would like to see an architectural or business planning tenant. "We set out to make this a high-profile business centre, we were selective in tenants, and to have it nearly fully tenanted before it is built is quite exceptional in these (economic) times. "The interest in the development has been massive, and from a commercial point of view this is one of the most exciting things that has happened in Tauranga for a long time," said Mr Cashmore, managing director of Realty Services. Developer and shareholder Peter Cooney, said Tauranga could not have hoped for a better mix of tenancies on such a trophy site. "The location is a natural gateway to the central business district - and the site is passed by thousands of people each day. "The development will change the face of how business is done in Tauranga. It will be a one-stop shop with very strong brands and it will become nationally known," he said. Mr Cashmore said rental of $300 per sqm for prestige office space was a reflection of the land price and this had presented a very attractive opportunity to "top drawer" tenants. The building, designed by Auckland-based Wingate + Farquhar, is being built by CBC Construction's team of 20 and at the peak of the interior fit-out and finishing-off next year there will be up to 100 tradespeople on site. The contractors are presently establishing the concrete and steel foundations for two levels of basement carparking, access from First Ave - and the office space above. The basement has bike ramps and showers so staff can cycle or run to work. The energy-efficient building is as close as you get to a Green Star rating, with plenty of low-e glass, a white roof and north-facing louvres to control the sound, shading and heating. The exterior is finished off with aluminium cladding, and the building will have the latest Category 6 cabling for office communications and fast broadband. The three lifts will provide tenants with their own office entry on each floor. KPMG (70 staff) is taking up the third floor of the northern Elizabeth St wing and Staples Rodway (60 staff) is moving across the street into the second floor of the First Ave wing. Cooney Lees Morgan (70 staff) has 1450sqm of space on the northern fourth floor. The cafe on the ground floor fronting Cameron Rd will include a meet and greet area for the public and businesspeople alike and it will open up into the Bayleys and Eves Realty auction room, replacing the smaller one in Willow St. The 100-strong Bayleys, Realty Services and Rothbury team will operate on the ground level and half the first floor of the northern wing. Eves will maintain its retail presence in Willow St and further up Cameron Rd, but the other tenants will leave behind substantial office space in other parts of downtown Tauranga when they move into the new building. "You are talking 16 months away before this happens. It only needs a little swing in the market and that space will be taken up," Mr Cashmore said. "I guess it depends how much confidence comes back into the market, and there may be an oversupply of secondary office space to start with, but the tenants are leaving behind some quality accommodation." Troop Investments, comprising seven investors from Auckland and Tauranga, was formed after Mr Cooney secured the prime 4300sqm site 10 months ago. Previous owner DNZ Property Fund also planned to build a (bigger) modern office building but decided not to proceed with the development. Troop settled on the property last November. Photo: 247 Cameron Road Building - artist impression Read more: Peter Cooney's major plans