Developers of one of Tauranga's biggest construction projects, Tauriko Crossing, are gearing up for its peak construction period when 400 staff will be on site.
Stage two of what is described as one of Tauranga's largest construction projects would include a 1000-plus seat "state-of-the-art" cinema complex and a food precinct, expected to open in early 2019.
Once both stages were completed, Tauranga Crossing would have 110 retailers and 1700 carparks.
Hawkins Construction central regional manager Peter McCawe said there were currently about 70 staff working on stage two of the project, including carpenters, steelfitters and concreters.
February would be the development's peak construction period when McCawe said there would be 400 people working on site each day for at least the rest of the year.
He said those workers would be in roles such as steel fitters, carpenters, painters, Gib stoppers, electricians, plumbers and "everyone you can think of" who worked in the construction industry.
He said he could not confirm the exact number of new positions created but it could be around 20 per cent of the 400.
"A proportion will be new jobs," McCawe said.
He said new workers in the area would boost the local economy as they would shop in the area and many would move into the area as well.
McCawe said there were not many $100 million construction projects in New Zealand.
"It is certainly one of the largest construction projects to hit Tauranga," he said.
Other major projects in the city include a $100-million upgrade of 50 new shops and a seven-screen cinema complex at Bayfair Shopping Centre, a boutique 135-seat cinema in a new multi-million dollar Excelsa shopping centre at Papamoa and a $20m expansion of Papamoa Plaza.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief Stan Gregec said with the commercial developments, he hoped to next see an equal quality of larger-scale amenities including hotels, a museum and a modern performance centre to give the CBD a point of difference.
"It certainly shows confidence in Tauranga's growth, and is a very real investment in our future," Gregec said.
Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis said the world-class Vmax auditorium would make the Event cinema one of the most state-of-the-art cinemas in the country.
"At 24m wide, the Vmax screen will be one of the largest in New Zealand, with the auditorium also featuring immersive Dolby Atmos sound," Lewis said.
"Once we are fully developed including the future stages we will be the largest retail centre in the Bay of Plenty," he said.
Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said the expansion of city retail spaces provided good competition.
"As traffic builds up around the city, they are going to go to the centres closest to them."
Priority One communications and projects manager Annie Hill said Tauranga Crossing provided an important facility for the adjacent residential community as well as those working at the Tauriko Business Estate.
"[It will] enable easy access to big-box retail, hospitality and other facilities, meaning people won't have to get in their cars and drive across the city obtain these services."
The first stage of the mall was expected to open in October 2018.
TAURANGA CROSSING - STAGE TWO:
- Stage 2 - 19,000sq m (trading space only)
- Event Cinema Complex: six auditoria, 1000-plus seats, Vmax auditorium with 24m-long screen and Immersive Dolby Atmos sound.
- A two-level enclosed dining precinct with 15 restaurants and casual food eateries, connected to a large outdoor garden.
- An extra 80 fashion, apparel and general merchandise retailers.
- An extra 700 car parks
- Modern family facilities including high-quality parents rooms.
- Grand opening April 2019