A commercial property ''explosion'' has hit the Tauriko Business Estate as demand for land reaches a record high and tens of millions of dollars are pumped into new buildings.
The latest survey from Element IMF Limited showed in February there were 94 businesses based at Tauriko that employed 2008 people.
Director Bryce Donne said the 2018 financial year was shaping up as the busiest year yet at Tauriko, with more than 16ha of titles to be delivered and sold.
''By March we will have delivered 80ha of net industrial land out of a project total yield of 180ha," he said.
''We are busy with construction works and planning for the next stages of release meaning that overall we are about half way through the project.''
Colliers International Tauranga investment sales and industrial leasing specialist Rob Schoeser said Colliers had more than $60 million worth of investment sales at the Tauriko Business Estate.
''Investors want new buildings, which are low maintenance with good leases.''
Some of the larger transactions were Brother in Matarawa Pl worth $10.25m, Downers Taurikura Dr at $14.5m and Kiwi Bus Builders in Whakakake St at $7.35m.
Mr Schoeser said NZL Group was also moving from Mount Maunganui to a $20m, 17,000 sq m purpose built, high-tech facility at Tauriko.
The development was being undertaken by former MP Bob Clarkson, NZL's current landlord.
Mr Clarkson said the size of the building was right up with the top three biggest developments he had ever done.
''The bulk store at Mount Maunganui, Bunnings Warehouse and ASB Stadium were big projects for my team. This one here will be a great challenge and I can't wait to get my digger started.''
NZL chief executive Simon Hepburn said the business was excited to be moving into the state of the art warehouse that would allow for expansion and continued growth.
Ray White Commercial Tauranga director Philip Hunt said there had been ''an explosion'' and dramatic lift in demand for land at Tauriko.
In the last year, Mr Hunt had land sales approaching $20m that did not include more than 30 building sales, leases and unit title developments.
New Zealand Speciality Kiwifruit Products Ltd had taken out a 15-year lease and moved into a high-spec industrial building on a 7500sq m site that was currently for sale and had attracted strong investor interest, he said.
It was anticipated it would achieve a price of in excess of $10m.
''You virtually cannot buy land now with title, the subdivision that is being marketed at the moment is almost sold out and will not have titles until the second half of next year.''
Bayleys Tauranga commercial manager Dickie Burman said the company had been involved in several land sales and had recently successfully negotiated the single biggest land sale in the Tauriko Business Estate.
Details of the 6.3ha sale remained confidential but Mr Burman said Tauriko has been popular due to the amount of land on offer and its location.
Growth at Tauriko was a barometer of Tauranga's buoyant economy, said Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec.
''It's where the smart money is being invested for new industry and is becoming something of a logistics hub. It shows there's a lot of confidence at the moment in Tauranga's economic future.
"We tend to see the bigger industrial and logistics players being based there."
"With excellent transport links, Tauriko has become an outstanding location for business and industry in Tauranga. Its importance will only continue to grow."
Availability of good quality greenfields industrial sites in Tauranga was rapidly drying up, he said.
''Anyone who has invested in going into Tauriko has made an excellent call for the future."
Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the growth at Tauriko Business Estate was important to the Western Bay sub-region.
''Over a decade ago our local authorities identified the importance of long term planning for business growth to ensure sufficient commercially zoned land was available through the SmartGrowth spatial plan, and the Tauriko Business Estate is central to this.''
Tauranga City Council mayor Greg Brownless said having a good business base to the city was important as meant it more jobs.