The $145 million Copper Crest Retirement Village in Pyes Pā is now complete.
The village's $35m care centre has been officially opened as the final piece to the puzzle.
More than 200 workers were involved in the construction of the additional 29 "living well" apartments and 55 care suites, which provide rest home, hospital-level and specialist dementia care.
The significant milestone means Copper Crest will now have the capacity for about 350 residents.
About 100 residents attended the opening ceremony yesterday
, at which Tauranga MP Simon Bridges cut the ribbon.
Chief executive of Arvida, which owns Copper Crest, Bill McDonald said there had been a significant amount of interest in the new care options from both locally and outside the region.
"We've been absolutely shocked by the number of people we've had through in the last few weeks. We had 400 to 500 people through here in the last week."
McDonald said the new facility would be the "flagship" building for Arvida.
"The feedback we have received from first-lookers is that this style of apartment is completely different from anything they have seen in the region.
"Both the apartments and care suites will go some way towards filling the shortage of quality care accommodation in the Bay of Plenty."
McDonald said being able to build its brand new care centre "on time and on budget" through a year of Covid-19 lockdown was "absolutely outstanding".
The new care centre includes a range of amenities, including a cafe, lounge, cinema, gardens and event space.
The new care suites are grouped into households - small groups of people living in a home-like environment where they are cared for by designated staff.
McDonald said Arvida's "living well" model was an innovation for person-centred care that
created a more family-like environment.
Each household of care suites is supported by a large shared kitchen, dining room and living area.
"We are excited about this new care centre, which has been designed and purpose-built to provide the Bay of Plenty market with something different.
"Every aspect of the design has been carefully thought through to enable us to apply our 'attitude of living well' philosophy to everyday life."
Retirement Village Association New Zealand executive director John Collyns said the association was "delighted" Copper Crest was contributing towards the age-appropriate accommodation, which was "much needed" in the Bay of Plenty.
"Tauranga is obviously one of the homes for retirement villages. I think about 30 per cent of the over-75 population in Tauranga is living in a retirement village, which underlies the importance to the city."
Collyns said there was a continued boom of retirement villages being built in the Bay.
"We are seeing continued growth as we would expect because it is a nice place to live."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said Tauranga desperately needed accommodation of any form.
"Bringing good-quality retirement villages is great for the overall accommodation picture of the region."
Living at Copper Crest
Norma and John Keen have lived at Copper Crest in Pyes Pā for nearly nine years.
They moved to Tauranga from Auckland after deciding to get out of the "rat race".
Now, the pair will be some of the first residents to move into the retirement village's new care centre.
John said they decided to move from their spacious three-bedroom villa into the new care facility after realising they didn't need that much space later in life.
"We're getting on. Initially, it was a hard thing to accept, but then we thought this is a good move," he said.
"We're downsizing and decluttering," Norma said.
Together they have 21 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another on the way and were "thrilled" to be moving into their new home.
"One of the things I always liked about retirement villages is the security side," John said. "That's important."
Prices range from $395,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to $845,000 for a penthouse apartment - and between $195,000 and $495,000 for the care suites.
The public has an opportunity to view the new apartments and care suites at an open weekend on March 20 and 21.