One of Tauranga's biggest developments is about to get even bigger.
Tauranga City Council has granted a resource consent variation for an extra two apartment levels on the $130 million Farmers building, which will go from 10 to 12 storeys high.
The final plans for the under-construction project include 8000sq m of retail on two levels, 23 townhouses and 96 high-end apartments in two towers, plus 322 car parks.
Brett Nicholls, spokesperson for Elizabeth Properties Limited, which is part of the James Pascoe Group that owns Farmers, said as the project progressed it became apparent the extra height would better meet residential demand.
Nicholls said a taller building would stand proud and provide an anchor at the southern end of the CBD.
"We have increasingly seen this project as a catalyst for positive transformational change in the Tauranga CBD," he said.
"We believe Tauranga's CBD has a bright future, and we're willing to back that belief with this significant investment."
Nicholls said the old Farmers building had been demolished and work had already begun on the new building's structural foundations.
The retail and food and beverage aspects of the new building were still due to open in 2021, with the residential floors opening later that year.
The project team had worked closely with planning, construction and landscape and urban design experts to ensure the revised design was appropriate in its CBD context, Nicholls said.
"The architects have carefully revised the design of the apartment towers and chosen materials to maintain a Tauranga aesthetic," he said.
The chairman of Mainstreet organisation Downtown Tauranga, Brian Berry, said the project, as well as other redevelopments, signalled the "coming of age" of the Tauranga CBD and the city's transition from a provincial city to a large metropolitan city.
Berry said the redevelopment would enhance the CBD, with the additional two storeys having little further detrimental effect on the view as it was already a substantial building.
"The Farmers redevelopment is a game-changer for the Tauranga CBD due to the quality of the design, the mix of retail/hospitality, the number of car parks involved and the fact that the apartments will result in a significant increase in CBD dwellers," he said.
He said up to 238 people could be housed in the building, who would "live, shop, socialise, and possibly work within the CBD".
Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the Farmers redevelopment was a significant catalyst for revitalising the city centre and will stimulate regional economic growth.
"The building is of high-quality design, resulting in a contemporary development that will become a destination for people visiting the CBD," she said.
"The townhouses and apartments will see more people living in the city centre 24/7, which will stimulate further private and public sector investment and new retail offers, and the inclusion of restaurants and cafes will bring a modern retail experience to the area."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief Stan Gregec said the redevelopment would make a huge difference to that end of town.
"The addition of more car parking and accommodation can only be a plus," he said.
- 12 storeys
- Total 8000sq m of retail on two levels
- 23 townhouses
- 96 high-end apartments in two towers
- 322 car parks
Source: Elizabeth Properties Limited