A $6.7 million building project to transform the former iconic Mills Reef winery building into a retirement-village clubhouse has been given the green light.
Tauranga City Council issued the building consent last month for the alteration to the existing three-level building at 143 Moffat Rd with a new entryway and internal layout.
The clubhouse is due to be completed next year and when finished will cover more than 2000sq m including living spaces, a resident workshop, hairdressers and wellness space, theatre, library, heated indoor lap pool, spa and gymnasium.
The Vines at Bethlehem is 55 per cent complete. The application to build the 198-unit retirement village at Bethlehem's Mills Reef site was granted in 2015.
Classic Builders director Peter Cooney said the demolition phase was complete and the rebuild had begun on the clubhouse.
"The lockdown period hasn't delayed our progress on this project, we are still on track at this stage. There is still strong inquiry and demand for villas here so we are continuing with our build schedule as planned.
"The team are all very happy to be back on site and this project, in particular, is an exciting one for the community because it is such an iconic building"
Cooney said a project as large-scale as this one had a significant supply chain of tradies and suppliers "so seeing work back in full swing on site is very beneficial to the local economy".
Also issued in April was a $2.2m building consent for the construction of two new buildings a the Pacific Lakes Village on Grenada St, including six two-storey, three-bedroom dwellings.
A $1m consent was also approved for stage 2 of the civil works of the Summerset retirement village on Manawa Rd.
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Generus Living Group director Graham Wilkinson said construction on the Pacific Lakes Village in Papamoa was paused during the lockdown but now "things were all go".
"We were able to quickly shrink wrap multiple villas before lockdown and ensure no degradation occurred from the elements, which meant we could start back where we left off with no issues."
Wilkinson said the approved $2.2m job was part of a series of consents to build the total $250 million eco-friendly retirement village in Papamoa.
"We have just welcomed eight new residents after lockdown ceased and have several more moving in over the next couple of weeks.
"We have over 30 more villas under agreements, many of whom where residents have sold their homes and want to move to Pacific Lakes as soon as possible."
He said work would soon begin on its first community building, the Lakehouse.
"We have plans to accelerate construction, which could provide a meaningful contribution to the Bay economy, particularly in employment for contractors.
"But we will keep a close eye on how the real estate market moves in the Bay over the next few months."
General manager of construction Dean Tallentire said the Summerset by the Dunes retirement village was under construction and "developing well".
Tallentire said unfortunately construction was unable to continue during alert level 4 but he was happy builders were now back on site.
"We are following all the necessary health and safety practices that each alert level brings, and we are going over and above in many areas of what is required. "
Tallentire said he had heard of a slowdown for residential builders in the area and he believed providing a continual workstream would be well-received by local trades in the coming weeks and months.
"The local trades involved with this project are going over and above to keep things on track as far as possible."
Meanwhile, 55 consents valued at $22,411,999 was approved to build 56 new homes in Tauranga last month.
That was well down on the 102 consents issued for 109 new dwellings valued at more than $40m in January.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said Covid-19 forced many industries to pause and re-assess the market and economic conditions and it was not surprising there was a reduction in building consents during the lockdown.
"There is likely to be a flurry of consent applications either catching up with the lockdown or seeking amendments now situations have changed. The long-term outlook for the sector is unknown."
However, Cowley said a decline for one month should not represent a long-term trend.
"All sectors have been impacted by Covid and the construction sector will be facing shortened pipelines than they anticipated earlier on in the year."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said consents had been trending down for a while as land availability had decreased.
"In the short term, the construction industry has come back to a good level of work, but there is uncertainty over longer-term pipelines and investment.
"I'd expect there will be good government support for the industry though; with free trade training, investment in social housing and shovel ready projects enabling development."