Developers hope a $65 million apartment and townhouse development being built on a prime site in Pāpāmoa will become an "iconic landmark".
Once complete, the Astoria Development on the corner of Domain and Papamoa Beach Rds could house about 150 people on a site some say has been vacant for years.
Nearby business owners are calling the development "brilliant" and "well overdue" for Pāpāmoa.
Stage 1 is worth $15m, will include 12 townhouses and is expected to completed by the end of this month.
The main $50m project in Stage 2 will include a five-storey mixed-use development, including 11 ground-floor commercial tenancies, which will likely include a mix of boutique retail stores, food outlets and cafes.
It will also include four storeys of 51 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with premium penthouse apartments on the upper floor - and 106 car parks.
The development completion is planned for 2022.
Astoria Development office manager John Park said 10 of the 12 townhouses had already sold and there had been strong inquiries for the apartments since they went up for sale on November 13.
"We managed to sell 20 per cent on that day. [We've also had] over 70 serious inquiries submitted to our real estate agents and a few are under contract," he said.
"We expect them to be sold out within the next few weeks.
"One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments are quite rare but are a good opportunity for investors or older residents as they will include lifts."
Park said the majority of buyers were from Hamilton and Auckland and some were from Tauranga.
He said developer David Kang bought the land in 2016 and divided the project into two stages.
Resource consent to build up to four storeys high was approved in November last year and an amendment to build an extra storey was submitted in July, which Park said was likely to be decided at the end of this year.
"We are positive that we can achieve an extra floor on top."
Park said the developer had lived in the area for more than a decade and found "this rough diamond".
"He wants to make it shine by building an iconic landmark for Pāpāmoa Beach, which would greatly benefit the whole community."
Pāpāmoa Beach was a fast-growing suburb, Park said.
"New shops and houses are formed rapidly. However, it does not have any significant building to represent the area.
"Our apartment is architecturally designed with high-end finishing. It will soon be an iconic building that represents Pāpāmoa Beach."
Park expected about 150 people to be living in the development once it was finished.
Momentum Planning and Design planner/urban designer Tom Watts said the development would be a "landmark building" for Pāpāmoa and define Domain Rd as a gateway to the primary commercial area, including Papamoa Plaza.
"The building orientation and design take advantage of the expansive views towards Pāpāmoa Beach, the Domain Reserve, Pāpāmoa Hills to the southwest and views east towards Mount Maunganui."
Watts said a resource consent was granted for a four-storey mixed-use development on the site, which was approved under the Special Housing Accord legislation in November 2019.
A new resource consent application had been submitted to Tauranga City Council to increase the number of apartments by adding a fifth storey, he said.
The ground floor commercial will remain as previously consented.
"The site has long been identified as being appropriate for intensification," he said.
"The project team believes the site is well-placed to increase the building height without resulting in adverse effects on the surrounding environment as the building is separated from the existing residential areas by surrounding roads."
Watts said the new application was being processed by the council and was set to go to a hearing in late January 2021.
Ongoing consultation with the owners of several neighbouring properties was being undertaken.
Tauranga City councillor for the Mount and Pāpāmoa Steve Morris said it had been an untidy site for decades.
"Having something tidy there is going to be a benefit to the community."
However, he said there were "significant issues" with the intersection of Percy, Domain and Dickson Rds.
"I'd like to see developers funding improvements to the intersection through the resource consent conditions."
Papamoa Plaza centre manager David Hill said it was great news for Pāpāmoa.
"It looks like it's going to be a residential development we deserve, high-quality, good-looking and an iconic apartment for Pāpāmoa.
"It's brilliant for the whole region."
Hill said the site had been vacant for the 50 years he had been living in Pāpāmoa, which has evolved into one of the fastest-growing areas in the country.
"If the people are here, you develop here."
Bluebiyou owner Nathan Schaeffer said bringing more development into the area was "always a plus".
"We're happy to see development happening here. It's well overdue we feel."
Schaeffer hoped the development would attract more of the "grassroots kind of feel" the area was known for.
"It's such a beautiful part of the beach here. We've got a beautiful mix of Kiwi culture."