A multimillion-dollar townhouse development is taking shape in a commercial area at Owens Place in Mount Maunganui.
Two separate building consents valued at $12 million each were issued to Bayfair Developments for 72 townhouses built in seven blocks across 17-23 Owens Place in November 2017.
The Central Mews development is under construction and NZINVEST Group general manager Kylie Turgis said all of the 72 townhouses had sold for a starting price of $450,000.
Turgis said the project was on track to be completed by the end of this year or early next year and was targeting busy professionals.
She said the townhouses would bring much-needed accommodation to the area and would assist with the shortage of quality properties the region was experiencing.
"It is a large scale project which will have a strong sense of community," she said. "It is also a stone's throw from residential and retail precincts which is convenient for residents."
The development is being built in a commercial area with an underlying suburban residential zoning, beside a train track and a main highway.
However, Turgis said its location was convenient and did not raise any concerns about the development's future.
"Part of living in a central area close to centres such as Bayfair Shopping [Centre], near the Mount means accepting the public infrastructure that comes along with this," she said.
However, a council planner's report on the resource consent application said apart from noise standards the City Plan had no on-site amenity requirements for residential activities in commercial zones.
Given that it is only carparking, laundry, front door and stairs on the ground floor of the townhouses, the proposal would result in a level of on-site amenity for residents that was consistent with what was permitted in the City Plan, the report said.
"Notwithstanding this, I acknowledge that, while falling principally within the permitted baseline, the proposal as a whole has very real potential to result in very poor amenity outcomes for its future residents," the report said.
It said the location of the block fronting Owens Place would result in 780m2 of "lost opportunity" for retail and office activities to establish in the location.
The planner was satisfied that the effects that relate to putting the development in a commercial zone and next to the highway and railway had been met by standards detailed in the design and building consent process.
"It is therefore reasonable, in my opinion, to conclude that reverse sensitivity effects would be less than minor."
The planning decision said the Leq (Equivalent Continuous Noise Level) over 24 hours should not exceed 35 decibels inside bedrooms and 40 decibels in all other rooms.
Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said the development planning happened before he was mayor and agreed the townhouses were different.
"It is probably less of an eyesore than an industrial zone," he said. "It is certainly a different style of houses that we are used to in Tauranga."
Brownless said it was a good chance to see if a "more innovative style" of housing worked in Tauranga.
"If it works the community will learn quite a bit from it," he said.
"It is about a choice for people. For those people who like the idea it is a great chance to get them into a house. Those who don't, don't need to live there."
He believed the townhouses were in good proximity to the shopping areas at Owens Place and Bayfair Shopping Centre.
"If they want to go to Bayfair they will walk, that's a good thing," he said.
"Because it is so close to those shopping areas that's not a bad thing if we are encouraging less cars on the road."
Priority One projects and communications manager Annie Hill said the more intensive residential developments were likely to be popular due to their central location in terms of Bayfair and access to main transportation routes.