Nearly $50 million worth of building work has been signed off for Tauranga in a boom one business leader has described as "unbelievable".
Tauranga City Council signed off almost $48 million worth of work last month, both commercial and residential, up from about $31.8 million in January 2014.
The number of new dwellings consented jumped more than 42 per cent to 104 thanks in large part to approval for a block of 20 townhouses at 34 and 36 Miro St in Mount Maunganui. The value of commercial consents more than doubled with $10.6 million worth of work given the green light last month compared to $5m in January 2014.
The biggest of those consents was a $5 million Kiwifruit coolstore being built for Seeka on Te Maire St in Mount Maunganui.
Seeka chief executive Michael Franks said projections suggested more storage would be needed to handle future crops.
Seeka post-harvest manager Rob Twogood said the new building would be able to hold 800,000 trays of kiwifruit and would be made to manage high cube containers which could be easily shipped to Asia, he said.
There was already one existing coolstore on the site and the new one would utilise spare land, Mr Twogood said.
Construction was under way and was expected to be completed by the end of April. "They're building the pre-cooler at the moment. The foundations are down and we're waiting for the slab."
Priority One chief executive Andrew Coker said the consent figures signalled a healthy economy, especially for the kiwifruit industry.
"The kiwifruit industry is really gearing up for the increase in the gold harvest. They are planning ahead and big money is being invested," he said.
The number of single dwellings consented was also at a two-year high, he said. "It's really, really positive," he said. "I think those aspects really bode well.
"We're nearly up to 2007 levels -- 2007 was really booming and 2014 was nearly back up to those levels."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dave Burnett said the figures were "unbelievable".
"I guess really it just shows the confidence is continuing from last year. The amount of spend in terms of kiwifruit is fantastic," he said. Mr Burnett said the high number of residential consents reflected the huge demand and growth the building industry was seeing.
"That's really cracking ahead," Mr Burnett said. "That reinforces the notion that there are still a lot of people moving into the area. That's really, really good news."