A childcare centre, office block and new retail stores will help create 200 jobs as part of Pāpāmoa Plaza's latest expansion.
The next stage of the development of the Pāpāmoa shopping mall is under way, with a new BestStart childcare centre expected to be complete by this Christmas.
Pāpāmoa Plaza centre manager David Hill said Pāpāmoa's rapid population growth and demand for more retail and services had encouraged owners to expand the mall.
Pāpāmoa will have the population of Nelson by 2024, Hill said.
"We don't have the retail infrastructure, we don't have the jobs. Pāpāmoa is growing so fast we are just trying to keep up with it," he said.
"When we first got here six years ago, it was a ghost town. Now it is too busy, which is a nice problem to have."
The first stage of the project has begun with site works to create space for the childcare centre on the grass section opposite the plaza, which Hill says has been empty land for 20 years.
He says there will also be an extra 150 car parks, a ring road to divert trucks around the outside of the centre and a reconfiguration of the carpark that "has struggled with the rapid growth experienced in Pāpāmoa Plaza in recent years".
The next stage of the project will include an office block and large format retail will complete the third and final stage of the development.
"All up there will be at least 200 people employed fulltime here," he said.
However, Hill was keeping tight-lipped on which retailers would be included in the development and the final cost.
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said the expansion of the plaza and addition of a new childcare centre, shops and offices was good news for a growing area.
"Local shops servicing local people means people don't have to travel as far," he said.
"It is just a sign of a popular place to live and work and the new development is supporting that growth."
Maunganui/Pāpāmoa ward councillor Steve Morris said it was encouraging to be able to give the Pāpāmoa community more shopping choice.
BestStart deputy chief executive Fiona Hughes was excited to commit to a new facility at the Pāpāmoa Plaza.
"Complementing our existing network of early childhood education facilities, the Pāpāmoa Plaza site will provide options for busy families in a convenient one-stop location in the heart of Pāpāmoa," she said.
What do you think?
"We have lived in Pāpāmoa for 16 years. We are really excited about the expansion. It is very busy here. It would be great if there was a new Kmart and a few more clothes stores."
Holly Sinkinson, 15, and Tracey Sinkinson, 44
"They need a new Briscoes or Noel Leeming, or something similar."
Alan Galpin, 70
"Maybe a Rebel Sport and a bit more of a variety of clothes stores."
Tkay Phillips, 35, and Daniel Kautai, 39