Population growth in Papamoa is expected to outstrip all of Tauranga City by 50 per cent by the year 2028 and Bay business leaders say it's also poised for a commercial development boom.
Tauranga City Council told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend Papamoa's population was estimated to increase by 56 per cent by 2028 compared to about 28 per cent across the whole city.
Statistics from the 2013 census show Papamoa's population had jumped 20.6 per cent to 20,091 people, up from 16,655 in 2006, while the Tauranga City district grew 10.5 per cent from 103,881 people to 114,789 in the same time.
Land availability at more affordable prices and easy access to the suburb via the Tauranga Eastern Link meant the suburb had also become an attractive location for businesses.
FSP Holdings New Zealand general manager Scott Lee said the company was in the process of building a new site at Papamoa, which would cost $60 a square metre less than constructing the 4000sq m plant elsewhere in the city - with savings of $240,000.
The Australian plastics manufacturer established a manufacturing operation at Mount Maunganui in 2013 and needed to move due to increased export sales.
Papamoa appealed financially but the new motorway and good link to the Port of Tauranga was another practical advantage, he said.
Circle Management Services owner Derek Roser, who specialised in business and company coaching, said it "would not surprise me if over the next five years there is a move of general businesses there.
"Because of the various peninsulas we have, there are geographic restrictions for expansion, so, absolutely, in time we will see it grow down that Papamoa East way."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said it "certainly acknowledged the rapid growth of Papamoa and its increasing attractiveness as a business location.
"It is great to see the Papamoa business and industrial area getting traction ... there is also an opportunity for the chamber to lift its profile in Papamoa and to support those new and relocating businesses."
The chamber had more than 800 members, with less than 5 per cent based in Papamoa, he said.
Papamoa Plaza centre manager David Hill said its $20 million upgrade was tracking ahead of schedule.
"The owners did a high level of research across the country and Papamoa stood out head and shoulders."
Mr Hill, who is also the Papamoa Progressive chairman, said the feedback about the growth in Papamoa had been fantastic.
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said you could argue there were areas of approved consented land for certain types of commercial development, so "you know none of these things are happening by accident".
"There has been some planning put into place and that has then encouraged people who have seen the opportunity to go and establish their businesses out there, where it could be difficult or more expensive to operate in the traditional areas like Hewletts Rd."
It was also "very good value for money residentially at Papamoa", Mr Stanway said.
Tauranga Harcourts general manager Nigel Martin said the growth at Papamoa was not a surprise and it boded well for the region economically.
The latest data from the Real Estate Institute showed in May 2015, 56 houses sold in Papamoa at a sale price median of $485,000 as opposed to 38 sales in May 2014 for a sale price median of $452,500.
Papamoa developers had also noticed a spike in sales.
Golden Sands sales and marketing manager Mark Day said 127 sections had sold since the end of January with "a definite surge this year". The company had sold 372 residential sites in the past two years, well above its projection of 100 per year. The average house and land package was $460,000 to $530,000, compared with $420,000 to $430,000 about 18 months ago.
Meanwhile, Venture Developments director Mark Fraser-Jones said it opened its first show home in 2010. In total, 300 had been built with 80 per cent sold to young families and people wanting to downsize. It anticipated 2015 would be a busy year and it was selling up to 15 homes a month with house and land packages in Papamoa starting at $350,000 with a large rise of Aucklanders seeking homes or investment properties.
Papamoa Community Centre venue supervisor Sylvia Wilmshurst said it had created a new tumble time activity for young mothers because "it's like nappy valley out here". They had 100 registered in the group which only started six weeks ago and "it is really interesting the type of new families with young children that are in in our community now".
Tauranga City libraries manager Jill Best said visits to the Papamoa Library had also soared to 190,497 from July 2014 to June 2015, up by 9842 during July 2013 and June 2014 when 180,655 people visited.
"There are definitely more people about," she said.