One of the last pieces of commercial land in a prime Mount Maunganui location is up for grabs from today.
It could be set for a major redevelopment in three to four years' time with the land suitable for commercial, residential or retail purposes.
The sale of the 8100sq m council-owned site, including the current Zespri building, is expected to slice a significant amount off Tauranga's civic debt.
Colliers International and Bayleys will market the land for sale or leasehold sale, by closed tender with a deadline of October 1.
The land where the Mount Library and Mount Plunket Preschool sit is not included in the sale, which was decided on in June as a result of public feedback, general manager for city transformation Jaine Lovell-Gadd said.
Tauranga City Council would also retain the 3500sq m of park, used by The Little Big Markets once a month.
The council received 198 submissions on the decision - 37 supporting the sale of part or all of it and 151 not supporting the sale part or all of the land, most concerned with the retention of the park, the Mount Library and the Mount Plunket Preschool.
"Retaining space for a park will ensure we have the ability to cater for community activities and events, as part of our strategic events focus to encourage a thriving city, in the future. It will also help alleviate pressure from other event spaces in the vicinity, such as Blake Park and Coronation Park," Mayor Stuart Crosby (pictured) said, following the June decision.
The site posed a great opportunity for an exciting redevelopment, Bayleys Tauranga commercial manager Dickie Burman said.
"It's in a great position, in a good beach location and a good land holding.
"The opportunities for someone to maximise its potential are endless.
Bayleys Tauranga commercial agent Brendon Bradley said it was a rare opportunity to be able to secure such a substantial commercial site so close to the Mount.
"It's absolutely prime Mount Maunganui property.
"We're doing a national marketing campaign so we'll be expecting national interest."
Zespri's lease was valid for another three years with a fourth year optional to them.
After that, the land owner would have the opportunity for a major redevelopment, with or without extending Zespri's lease. "Zespri could buy this as well but we have to put it through a contestable sale which is open to all buyers," Tauranga Colliers managing director Simon Clark said.
The commercially-zoned land could be developed up to 12m high for retail, commercial or residential purposes or a mix of all three and in such a prime location it was a unique opportunity, Mr Clark said.
Even a hotel or resort were possible because of its location, he said.
"Honestly, it would be the biggest commercial site that close to the Mount.
He added: "You just don't see sites come up like this very often."
The buyer would also have flexibility over which end of the site the 3500sq m park would sit.
The council is offering the sale of the freehold interest of the land or the option to purchase the rent free leasehold interest for a long period, Mr Clark said.
Zespri paid rent of $525,000 plus GST and was required to give 12 months' notice if it would be taking up the fourth optional lease year.