The city council issued more than 100 residential building consents in February. Property reporter Zoe Hunter finds out what new builds have been approved for Tauranga.
Student accommodation worth $54 million is expected to jump-start business confidence and help revitalise Tauranga's inner city.
A $14m four-storey student living facility and separate manager's accommodation at 38 Selwyn St, and Rresource consent for a $40m tertiary student accommodation complex with 392 rooms on 145 and 153 Durham St, near the city's Waikato University campus, were approved last month. The company behind the developments says the projects aim to provide the city with "critical infrastructure" and accommodation for the many students coming to Tauranga. Quintex Properties Holdings' application for resource consent to build the student accommodation on Selwyn St was met with some concern from residents in 2018.
Tauranga City Council's latest building consent report showed the project was approved last month. Construction began in December last year and was planned to be completed by December 2020.
Company director John McColl said the city needed critical infrastructure and accommodation for students arriving into town "and this is part of it".
"We need to build accommodation, infrastructure and amenities for the CBD because
it has a very bright future that is attractive to people who come to Tauranga," he said.
"The site is within very close proximity to the new campus, which is ideal for students who are seeking affordable, reliable accommodation options while they study."
McColl said more than100 people would be working off-site and about 30 to 40 people on-site throughout the build.
"Projects like this will also encourage future developments and growth, giving
investors the confidence and impetus they need to go ahead and fulfil the amenity
requirements Tauranga has at present and in the future."
McColl said the $14m project would include 96 studio rooms for students and a separate manager's accommodation.
He said thecouncil had worked well with QP Properties Holdings on the project, helping to bring the build to fruition. McColl said the Selwyn St development was one of a number of projects the company was
working on. The company also got approval for a $40m tertiary student accommodation complex with 392 rooms on 145 and 153 Durham St near the university campus. "But we are taking a big picture, long-term view of the CBD's needs and that takes time and careful consideration," McColl said.
"To that end, we have also purchased neighbouring buildings, which has allowed us to work further with architects on a larger scheme plan not yet completed."
University of Waikato senior deputy vice-chancellor Alister Jones said student accommodation was a key consideration for people starting university study.
"Having a new facility close to our campus in the Tauranga CBD will be of great benefit to our current and future students."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said developments like the student accommodation on Selwyn St were welcomed.
"Developments to provide student accommodation are very important for the university itself but also the wider CBD, where we expect more people to live over the next five to 10 years."
A total of $2.8m was also approved for a two-storey mixed-use commercial building with a ground-level restaurant and upper-level offices at the former Cornerstone site at 55 The Strand.
Work had started on the development. The developer declined to comment.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said many new residential and hotel developments were in the pipeline, including the Quest apartment hotel on Devonport Rd and the soon-to-open Farmers building apartments, he said.
"Having more people in the CBD for longer will build confidence in the CBD as the area becomes more attractive and vibrant outside of the normal 9am to 5pm business hours."
However, Cowley said getting into the CBD was one of its biggest challenges.
"Traffic congestion and ease of parking are perceived barriers when compared to other shopping and dining precincts," he said.
"Having students living in the CBD will help reduce the traffic on our roads, and open up new business opportunities in the CBD, such as a metro supermarket."