A developer is planning to build 20 three-level townhouse units across five blocks of land in Mount Maunganui. Tauranga City needs to address its housing shortage and these types of projects will help with that, the developer says. But some neighbours aren't impressed with the idea. Zoe Hunter investigates.
A new residential development including 20 three-level units is being planned in Mount Maunganui as a shortage of land for new housing pushes developers to look at a new way to build.
TYBI Limited has applied to the Tauranga City Council for a land use and subdivision consent to build 20 three-level townhouse units spread across five blocks on Oceanbeach Rd, Maranui St, and Girven Rd.
The proposed Bask development is the latest in a surge of apartment builds planned in Tauranga.
Earlier this month, the Bay of Plenty Times reported the number of apartments being built in Tauranga had more than quadrupled as people sought alternative living options.
One hundred and eighty-four apartment units in 35 buildings - costing $60.2 million in total - were consented in 2018, compared with $12m for four multi-unit developments consented in 2005.
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Michael Kemeys, director of Veros Property Services, the development managers for the proposed Mount build, said the well-designed build would challenge the current environment.
"As we experience housing pressures across the region with an imminent shortage of greenfield land for new housing, this type of development is essential to the future of housing and living in Tauranga.
"Tauranga has been slow to develop two- and three-storey terraced housing and quality infill that we are seeing successfully developed in the main centres of New Zealand and overseas."
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Kemeys said that type of housing suited the area, which was well-located near open spaces, the beach, public transport, healthcare and shopping amenities and Bayfair Shopping Centre.
"We are excited to be bringing quality developments like this to Tauranga as we mature as a city and provide alternative forms of housing to suit the diverse needs of our community."
The development was released for presales in June and Kemeys said it had strong interest from buyers locally, in Auckland and the central North Island.
However, a number of existing houses are located on the site that will need to be removed.
A resident, who spoke anonymously, said he would be making a submission against the development.
"A major concern we have got is the traffic issue," he said.
The resident said 20 three-level apartments, combined with the 52-apartment Salt development nearby on Girven Rd, would generate a lot of traffic.
"They are going to put 20 [apartments] within 150m of two of the biggest, busiest intersections," he said.
"It is unbelievable the traffic levels that go through them. Life here between 7am and 6.30pm at night is horrific."
The resident was also concerned the public had not been informed of the project.
"I think it is totally wrong," he said. "This is going to impact not only ourselves but for people on Oceanbeach Rd, Girven Rd and Maranui St."
Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said he rented his home nine months ago knowing about the planned development.
"I knew it was going to be temporary," he said. "We are just going to have to find somewhere else to stay ... It's going to be sad."
Kemeys said they had met with all adjoining neighbours to the project and discussed plans for the development.
The seven properties were marketed as a development opportunity in 2018 and a commercial agreement was entered into with their client.
"The tenants are aware of the sale and our intentions to develop the site. We will work closely with the tenants in respect to the development of the property," he said.
Kemeys said all options would be considered once they had more certainty on timing. The preference was to reuse the buildings before demolition.
"The existing houses were built during a period when asbestos materials were commonplace, which will influence our decision-making process."
Input from traffic consultants had played a significant part in the design process, he said.
Tauranga City councillor Larry Baldock said such housing was needed in Tauranga.
Greenfield developments are still a part of the future but we have been saying for a long time that Tauranga City needs to go up and not just out.
"Greenfield developments are still a part of the future but we have been saying for a long time that Tauranga City needs to go up and not just out," he said.
"I think it is the way of the future."
Baldock said there was a demographic change in the city as people sought smaller homes.
"The market is going to supply it if people want it, and it is clear that people do want it," he said.
"Smaller two-bedroom units are what we are lacking."
Veros Property Services also managed the development of Latitude Apartments in the Tauranga CBD and the recently built Park Terraces on 7th Ave.