A new $250 million eco-friendly retirement village with 350 homes is being built in Pāpāmoa.
The new Pacific Lakes Village on Grenada St is under construction, with the first stage of three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes to be built later this year. Eleven homes were bought in their first week on the market.
The 350-home development was across the road from its sister retirement village, Pacific Coast Village, which housed 250 residents.
Both villages would house extra residents in two separate on-site hospital care facilities.
"When you add all that up there will be over 1000 people in that area on those two sites," said Generus Living Group director Graham Wilkinson.
Both villages were a joint venture between Generus Living Group and Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Inc.
Wilkinson said all 350 homes would be pre-wired for solar power, so homeowners could have the option of staying on the grid or not.
"It means if they chose that option then they will get 70 per cent refunded to them when they leave the village. It is an incentive."
Wilkinson believed most new residents will choose solar power.
"The senior community has become more environmentally focused than, say, the millennials.
"Often they are concerned about what is going to be left behind for their children and grandchildren."
A communal facility inside the village called the Lake House will operate off the grid with its own solar power and rainwater recycling systems.
There will also be an electric vehicle fast-charge station on site, electric pool cars and composting and recycling hubs.
A market garden, commercial glasshouse, climate-controlled growing house and fruit trees would also be available inside the village.
Wilkinson expected about half of its new residents would move to Pāpāmoa from out of the region.
"We expect good demand both nationally and locally, given the reputation of Pacific Coast as well as proximity to the beach.
"The initial response suggests our confidence is well placed."
Mount Maunganui/Pāpāmoa ward councillor Steve Morris said the eco-retirement village would provide some certainty for the piece of land, which had been unoccupied for several years.
"Some of the neighbouring properties were unsure what was going to go there."
Morris said the village provided another opportunity for people to grow old in their community.
"We have an ageing population. It is another opportunity for people who have lived here to be able to retire here."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said the Pacific Lakes Village was the latest in many new retirement village developments and expansions in the city.
"Retirement villages have a big future in Tauranga. Being eco-friendly would certainly make it more attractive to people who care about their footprint on the world.
"It creates a strong point of difference for the developers, and opens up a new and certain-to-grow section of the market."
Gregec said Pāpāmoa seemed an obvious location for a village of this size and scale.
"I'm not sure where else in Tauranga there would be for it.
"It reminds us again that despite our growth being very much broad-based these days, Tauranga continues to be an unrivalled place of choice for retirement – with more and more options for how that looks."