Papamoa Plaza is on target to have 20 new shops including a foodcourt, fashion precinct and village green this year.

Centre manager David Hill said he had farewelled 2015 on a high note and the $20 million redevelopment was on track.

Retail space at the shopping centre had already virtually doubled in size while it had welcomed a number of new tenants and relocated others, he said.

If all went well in the coming months a new dining precinct could also be on the cards, he said.


He estimated about 350 people had worked on site since the expansion started and its end of 2017 completion date was running to schedule.

The final stage would include a block of big national retailers and there had been many expressions of interest.

Mr Hill, who was born and raised in Tauranga, returned to the city in 2013 to oversee the revamp and said "it has been hectic and fun".

"Personally I love my job. But it's not just me I have a whole team of people, I just tend to be at the pointy end of it."

Tinline, a Nelson-based company bought Papamoa Plaza in 2013 and Mr Hill said the owners were "thrilled to bits" on the progress that had taken place. "It's moving forward a lot quicker than they originally anticipated. The growth in Papamoa has given them enormous confidence and we have been pretty rigorous with our goal setting."

Feedback from the community had also been great, he said.

"The locals have a general sense of ownership. Their feedback has been overwhelming positive."

Papamoa was booming, he said, as residential building was on a high and other developments were taking place at Papamoa East.

"It's only going to get bigger and better."

The suburb was also benefiting from events including Dinner in the Domain while Papamoa Unlimited had taken off and Papamoa Progressive "has come into its own," he said.

At the end of the plaza project there would be up to 50 stores.