A new economic report valuing Tauranga's central city GDP at $1.2b in 2017 is another sign of a rejuvenating city, an economic leader says.
The newly released Infometrics 2017 profile of Tauranga CBD - defined for the report as the area north of Eleventh Ave - valued the area's GDP at $1.2b, up $87m from 2016.
The 7.6 per cent rise outpaced the national economic growth of 3.6 per cent.
There was also strong growth in the numbers of jobs - up 766 to 14,448 - and businesses - up 4.4 per cent to 2220 - in the area.
The analysis came on the back of a report last week naming Tauranga as New Zealand's top-performing city for economic growth.
Nigel Tutt, chief executive of economic development agency Priority One, which commissioned both reports, said the economic signs in the CBD report showed the area was undergoing a "rejuvenation".
"Tauranga CBD is taking off."
The many developments in the works meant more growth could be expected over the next five to 10 years.
Tutt said Tauranga's business heart was transforming from a town centred around mainstreet-style retail into a city environment with businesses spanning diverse sectors.
The report showed corporate-type industries had the fastest growth, with professional, scientific and technical services leading the way with a 7.4 per cent jump, and adding 157 jobs in the year.
The largest detractor from growth over the year was dairy cattle farming, with GDP dropping from $1.9m to $2.1m.
Biggest industry contributors to 2017 CBD GDP growth
1. Professional, scientific and technical services: up $14.8m to $215.1m
2. Auxiliary finance and insurance services: up $8.4m to $38.7
3. Finance: up $7.7m to $46.3
4. Healthcare and social assistance: up $7.5m to $123.3m
5. Property operators and real estate services: up $5.8m
- Source: Infometrics
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said the report showed Tauranga's economy was maturing.
"We're seeing many more skilled and professional jobs - which is a very good barometer of our stronger economic base. We're no longer quite so dependent on our traditional industries - although they still remain important and are also growing."
He said growth was creating challenges - especially around housing affordability, transport and other infrastructure - but believed Tauranga was "a long way off becoming another Auckland, despite the pressures".
Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless agreed the city was feeling the pressures of growth.
However, it was good to see development in the city creating a "buzz" that was drawing in new business, he said.
"Businesses and busy-ness attract each other."
This was true for Ian Ashworth, who moved his small financial services business, Office Angels, from Judea to Third Ave in January.
CBD growth was a factor in the decision.
While expenses increased a bit, Ashworth believed the benefits of being closer and more visible to other businesses - especially new ones - would make it worthwhile.
"We wanted to be part of a growing city."
Bring on the hungry construction workers
While some business operators worry construction work in Tauranga CBD's many developments will scare away customers, one new business is welcoming it.
Former South Island hotel manager Kevin Edkins opened Cafe Squared - a business he is setting up for the owners, his son Dean Edkins and two overseas investors - next to the old Westpac building on Devonport Rd on Wednesday.
They had seen the growth in the CBD and sought out a central location.
He believed the cafe was well positioned to feed the hundreds of hungry construction workers that developments - particularly the rebuild planned for next door - would bring into the CBD, and the office workers and residents that would replace them when the building work was done.
"I can see the CBD becoming a more corporate city ... and they all drink coffee."