The value of building consents in Tauranga has hit its highest mark in 10 years.
This is largely due to the expansion of large retail developments which has increased 97 per cent in the value of non-residential consents from the year to March 2018, compared with the year before.
Figures from the Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor Report, provided by Priority One, showed the value of non-residential consents hit $319 million in the year to March 2018, compared with $162m the year before.
Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis said in terms of economic growth, Tauranga had "outperformed" the rest of the country.
Stage two of Tauranga Crossing, the retail development in Tauriko, was due to be completed in April next year.
The complex would expand from 20 stores to 90 on completion, in response to retail demand from the region.
"We expect Tauranga to continue to be an attractive place to live and work," Lewis said.
Colliers International Tauranga managing director Simon Clark said the increase was mainly caused by four major building projects, constructed at the same time.
Clark said these were the Tauranga Crossing retail centre, the Bayfair extension, Zespri's new offices in Mount Maunganui and the University of Waikato building in Durham St.
He said new industrial and bulk retail buildings in Tauriko were being constructed and earthquake strengthening and modernisation of dated buildings was being seen throughout the region.
"I think this is a sign that we are maturing as a city and becoming a major regional centre with appropriate infrastructure and facilities," he said.
Clark said this growth was set to continue in the next few years with major hotel, office, apartment and retail developments planned in Mount Maunganui and central Tauranga, as well as large industrial projects at Tauriko.
"All sectors of the commercial market and especially the industrial sector are experiencing record low vacancy rates so we have to see new buildings to meet the demand for new businesses from out of town and local expansion."
Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said there had been strong growth in the commercial sector.
"There has been very strong growth in large retail developments as well as lots of new businesses moving here that are building new premises or others that are expanding and needing to move to accommodate this growth."
Hill said during 2017, Tauranga saw an additional 798 business units established in the city and 2980 new jobs were created.
She said strong growth in the retirement village sector also contributed to the increase.
"All this points to confidence in the future of the region making commercial investments increasingly viable."
The data showed there had been a decrease in the number of residential building consents issued in the same time frame, however, Hill said this was more "levelling off".
"We had a huge year for residential construction in 2016/17 and this would be difficult to replicate, let alone surpass, taking into account the availability of resources to build these homes and the availability of residential land.
"Tauranga city is still building 100-130 new houses each month, so supply is remaining at good levels," Hill said.