Construction of 71 new apartments and townhouses is under way in Mount Maunganui, with almost a third already snapped up by Aucklanders.

The 52 apartments in the $50 million boutique residential village on the former Golden Grove Holiday Park campsite on Girven Rd are set to be completed late this year.

That will be followed by the 19 luxury townhouses and the New Shoots early childhood centre and cafe in early 2020.

Grant White of Colliers in Tauranga said while 45 per cent of buyers were locals, almost a third were Aucklanders wanting to secure a coastal property in the Mount.

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White said more than three-quarters of the apartments and townhouses were sold off-plan by Colliers International in 2017, allowing construction to begin.

"It was interesting to see over half of the buyers coming from outside the local area, demonstrating the huge popularity of the Mount as a lifestyle change," he said.

Most buyers were owner-occupiers, either intending to live in the dwelling full-time or to use as a lock-and-leave holiday home, White said.

Artist impression of the new Salt development. Photo / Supplied
Artist impression of the new Salt development. Photo / Supplied

"The mix of buyers is unbelievable, initially we thought it would attract an older demographic, but a lot of young couples have also bought," he said.

Developer Paul Spillane said it was rare to find a development of Salt's size and calibre in such a sought-after location.

"We purchased the land in mid-2015 with the intention of creating a residential community that would allow more people to benefit from the lifestyle ... " he said.

Spillane said he was seeing development move further east along the beach as the Mount became more populated, particularly the Bayfair area.

"The Salt development presents a really unique opportunity for people as it's unlikely that a development of this size will happen again in a central Mount location," he said.

The Bayfair Shopping Centre was undergoing a $115m expansion right around the corner.

Centre manager Steve Ellingford said the Salt development complemented the expected residential boom in the local region.

Ellingford said the centre will serve the growing residential area and its demands, just as the new residential development will.

Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said the development was being built in a sought-after location and would help ease the housing shortage, which he said had reached "crisis point".

Nearby resident Bill Biehler said the construction surrounding the Bayfair and Salt developments had an impact on the traffic flow but was "just the way it is".

"This area is just all on with expansions and construction," he said. "This is just typical Tauranga going ahead, it is full steam ahead."

However, Biehler said the development was pushing people further down the Mount peninsula.

"They are not making any more land," he said. "This is just life. It is modern. This is the Brisbane of New Zealand."

Biehler had lived on Grenada St around the corner from the development since 2005.

"I have seen some dramatic changes in terms of expansion," he said. "It is because of the population growth ... There is demand there."

The development, by SNG Investments with build partner iLine Construction, is set to be complete by early 2020.

WHO OWNED THAT SITE?
- Previously the Golden Grove Holiday Park.
- First owners of the site listed in 1994
- Site first registered as a camping ground in 1998
- Previous owners: Max and Deborah Sullivan
- Previous owners: Ross, Susan Margaret and Kirk, Margaret Mary
- Historic document to the Mount Borough Council refers to the site being used as a campground in 1968
Source: Tauranga City Council