The first major tenant for a planned billion-dollar town centre development in Pāpāmoa East has been revealed.
Foodstuffs' New World is the first and cornerstone tenant for The Sands Town Centre and is expected to create about 180 new jobs in the area.
The supermarket is part of stage one of the development, including 10 major tenancies in more than 20,000sq m of new commercial space.
It comes a little over a year since the first details of the $1b town centre were revealed.
The Sands Town Centre developers say it will also include a $100 million aquatic centre with a 50m Olympic-sized pool, a large health hub and a retirement village.
Alongside the New World supermarket and retail outlet, about 11,000 new homes are planned to be built around the centre.
Nathan York, chief executive of town centre developers Bluehaven Group, said New World was an obvious choice as the first major tenant for The Sands.
"A major supermarket is a key and essential destination for our flourishing community."
Construction of the supermarket would start in the final three months of this year and it was expected to be open by Christmas 2024.
York said the total investment for the initial development stages of The Sands was $113m, which would enable the construction of more than 20,000sq m involving 10 major tenancies of new commercial space in Pāpāmoa East.
This work would have an initial economic impact of 481 jobs from construction and would generate $72m in gross domestic product (GDP), he said.
An ongoing annual economic impact from the operation of 576 jobs would generate a further $48m in GDP, he said.
"In addition to the New World supermarket, we are also finalising negotiations with a number of other national operators and will be excited to announce these future tenants in the coming months."
The health hub, which would include primary and secondary care facilities to service the Eastern corridor, were new health services "for the community and 'located' in the community".
The Sands would also include community facilities such as public transport, civic space, a library and active reserve spaces, with the priority being the combined aquatic and indoor centre.
York said more than 200 new homes were under construction in Pāpāmoa and Bluehaven Group had a further 2000 residential units consented for future house construction.
However, he said investment in key roading and infrastructure was critical to the ongoing progress of the town centre and Bluehaven Group's extensive housing programme.
About $160m of investment was needed for new arterial roading, the Pāpāmoa East interchange and immediate infrastructure, which was a small fraction of the $4.6b council long-term plan budget, York said.
He acknowledged the partnership approach taken by Tauranga City Council on the delivery of key infrastructure, which had involved a cost-sharing approach between council, central government and the private sector.
Tauranga City Council Commission chairwoman Anne Tolley said the council was pleased to be working with "a local developer who understands the region and takes a long-term planning approach to helping meet demand for housing and commercial activity in the city".
"To be able to work together with Bluehaven Group on key infrastructure delivery will ensure positive outcomes for all parties, but particularly for the growing Pāpāmoa East community."
Council projections show Tauranga's population will reach 168,000 by 2028, up from 142,000 in June 2018, with the greatest growth being in Pāpāmoa, rising from 28,650 to 39,960 – making up 43 per cent of the city's population increase.
Lindsay Rowles, general manager of membership and property at Foodstuffs North Island, said she was excited to be bringing the fast-growing Pāpāmoa community a New World.
"The locality surrounding The Sand's development makes it a fantastic location for one of our stores.
"The new store will be run by locals and will create 180 new jobs in the area."
Pāpāmoa Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Philip Brown said it was good to hear the announcement that New World was the anchor supermarket.
"We look forward to the completion of the longer-hours medical centre in the new centre."
Brown said now was the time to widen Te Okuroa Dr to the designed four lanes to handle the increased traffic attracted to this new town centre.
The Pāpāmoa East Interchange - which will connect the Tauranga Eastern Link to Wairakei and Te Tumu - was scheduled to open in the next few years.
But Brown said much of the traffic would be coming from the Pāpāmoa area and would not use the interchange and TEL.
He hoped a regular bus service for the local area would be working from the opening of the centre.
Chief executive of Western Bay of Plenty economic development agency Priority One, Nigel Tutt, said it was great to see plans at Pāpāmoa East progressing well and this should be encouraged.
"Pāpāmoa East is very important to the region for supply of residential and commercial land, and amenity for our community."
Bayleys Commercial Tauranga sales manager Mark Walton also welcome the announcement of the supermarket for The Sands Town Centre.
"Like a lot of Tauranga, key infrastructure and essential services are in short supply and are overdue for the rapidly expanding greenfields residential areas.
"We continue to see strong tenant demand across all commercial sectors in Pāpāmoa including retail, office and industrial with minimal vacancy in the current market."
- Health hub, including primary and secondary care facilities to service the Eastern corridor
- Government services including police, fire, St John Ambulance and Ministry of Social Development
- Community facilities including public transport, civic space, library, combined aquatic and indoor centre and more active reserve spaces
- Huge residential options including apartments, townhouses and retirement village/s.
- Retail, hospitality, hotels and commercial office spaces
- Showrooms and home improvement tenancies
Source: Bluehaven Group
Proposed Aquatic Centre facilities
50m competition pool
25m learn-to-swim pool
Toddlers, bombing and leisure pools
Hydrotherapy and programme pool
300 poolside seats and 500 seats upstairs
Outdoor hot water leisure pools
Café & reception
Source: Bluehaven Group