The majority of a record $68.7 million in Tauranga commercial building consents issued during March was for retail development, new data shows.

Priority One's latest building consents report showed Tauranga City Council issued the highest value of commercial consents ever in just one month.

Business leaders say the record showed commercial development in Tauranga was "full steam ahead" and also reflected the confidence investors had in the region and its future.

The $68.7m included a record 10 consents worth $1m or more, with the largest totalling $23m for the Farmers development on Elizabeth St.

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A total of $15m was issued for stage two of the Mainfreight development at Mangatawa Lane and $13m for a multiplex cinema complex at Bayfair Shopping Centre.

It also included 29 individual consents totalling $4.5m for tenancy fit-outs at Tauranga Crossing in Tauriko.

Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said commercial consents were "very strong" at the moment and continued a two-year trend.

"Large investments in both retail malls and commercial buildings show that investors have a lot of confidence in this region and its future," he said.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said the city's commercial building sector was "in good heart".

Gregec said the record value in commercial consents showed the development of shopping malls and the new Farmers' building in the CBD were "full steam ahead".

Elizabeth Properties Limited spokesperson Brett Nicholls said the $23m issued for the Farmers' development was to help build the "retail podium section".

That covered the basement, car parking and retail areas up to "podium level", he said.

Nicholls said earthworks were still being prepared for the development.

"The dry summer has allowed us to make great progress on the site's foundations where we recently started excavation of the ground beams under the basement slab," he said.

Once complete, the $130m-plus Farmers building will provide "an integral component of the city CBD's transformation".

The development remained on track to be completed by 2021.

Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis. Photo / Andrew Warner
Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis. Photo / Andrew Warner

Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis said Tauranga was going through a "boom period" and the region's growth in population, housing and employment was likely to continue.

"Our research indicates that the Tauranga local economy is capable of supporting a greater number of retailers, both big and small," he said.

Lewis said the opening of the new mall will have a positive impact on economic growth in the region.

"It will bring new retailers to the city, attract shoppers from a wider catchment and provide employment for local people, in the construction, retail and food and beverage sectors," he said.

Twenty-nine individual consents totalling $4.5m were issued for tenancy fit-outs at Tauranga Crossing. Photo / Andrew Warner
Twenty-nine individual consents totalling $4.5m were issued for tenancy fit-outs at Tauranga Crossing. Photo / Andrew Warner

MARCH'S MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR CONSENTS

• The third building consent package for the Farmers' development on Elizabeth Street ($23m)
• Stage 2 of the Mainfreight development at Mangatawa Lane ($15m)
• A multiplex cinema complex at Bayfair Shopping Centre ($13m)
• 29 consents for tenancy fit-outs at Tauranga Crossing ($4.5m)
• Stage 2 of a warehouse/office development at 58 Gargan Rd ($1.9m)
• A two-unit warehouse/office development at 14 Unutoto Place ($1.6m)
• A warehouse/office development at 18 Tawa St ($1.5m)
• A warehouse/office development at 91 Gargan Rd ($1.5m)
• An industrial unit at 2 Rakiraki Way ($1.3m)
• A warehouse/office development at 25 Unutoto Place ($1.2m)
• The fit-out of Little Creatures and Cleaver Co at 19 Girven Rd ($1m)