A 95-hectare farm in Tauranga in the same family for four generations could become a 1000-home subdivision in the city's "next new suburb" when sold.
The greenfield development site on State Highway 29 in Tauriko West is expected to attract unprecedented developer interest.
Agents say the land, known as Ferncliffe Farm, had scope to be transformed into a new residential subdivision with up to 1000 new homes and was a "legacy development".
Ferncliffe Farm has been in the same family ownership since 1927, with the fourth generation now on the land.
Held in four titles, it is one of three key privately-owned blocks forming part of the 329ha Tauriko West Urban Growth Area identified by the Tauranga City Council.
The other two main blocks are owned by developers.
Bayleys Commercial Tauranga sales manager Mark Walton said the site could support up to 1000 new residential homes, subject to consent and necessary district plan changes.
It could be close to a $1 billion project once completed, he said.
Walton said inquiry from buyers for land, including residential development sites, commercial and industrial sections, was at "unprecedented levels".
"Traditionally many development sites have been sold privately, but with demand increasing significantly in Tauranga, owners are seeing the benefits of selling with buyers competing for a limited supply of available land.
"This is an exciting opportunity with Tauriko West likely to be the next new suburb to provide for the future expected growth in the Tauranga area.
"The interest is pretty much predominantly from land development companies and/or residential building companies looking to secure land for their pipeline of new house builds."
Walton said Tauriko West was just one of the large-scale urban development areas proposed to support the wider region's growth.
The area was touted as delivering a new community with an estimated 3000 to 4000 new homes from 2024 to 2025, he said.
"This block, with scale and diversity, means a well-resourced new owner could be part of an exciting phase of expansion for Tauriko to meet strong anticipated residential demand for the next five to 10 years, as supported by independent local and central government data."
Simon Maxwell of Bayleys Tauranga said the land had three plateaus suitable for housing, an extensive river boundary, multi-faceted views and a mix of contour, making for a more interesting and diverse development.
"The opportunity to enhance key natural features with extensive landscaping on the balance of the land not used for residential development will enable public reserves, walkways, cycleways, playgrounds and other leisure amenities to be created, adding to the appeal and versatility of the location."
Bayleys national director of commercial and industrial, Ryan Johnson, said nationwide changes to council district plans and the release of a National Policy Statement on Urban Development last year were encouraging higher-density residential developments and master-planned residential communities.
He said Bayleys was working with "seasoned developers" around New Zealand to acquire large tracts of land for development to help address the housing shortage.
"Given its pivotal position in the country's economic Golden Triangle, the pressure is on Tauranga to absorb the fast-growing population, which shows no sign of easing up on the back of a strong local economy in the Bay of Plenty.
"This development land in Tauriko has the potential to be a legacy development for a new owner."
In March, Tauranga City Council staff predicted housing shortfalls of up to 5000 in the next decade.
The economic impact from this was expected to be a $2.5b cumulative GDP loss over 10 years and between 1140 to 1680 construction jobs lost in a 10-year timeframe.
Tauranga City Council commission chairwoman Anne Tolley said the farm was a reasonably important piece of land in the long-term expansion in Tauriko.
"Perhaps it signals the future of where the city is growing."
Classic Group director Peter Cooney said land like this had the potential to support Tauranga's population growth, but the development process came with many hurdles.
"We have owned land nearby for nearly four years now and development is still not under way.
"This highlights the city's critical infrastructure issues and that making progress when developing land is not easy."
Cooney said any land opportunity like this was going to be attractive for developers because of Tauranga's "serious land shortage".
"The strong demand for housing we are experiencing is driving land and house prices up and we can't get new homes to the market fast enough."
Urban Task Force for Tauranga chairman Scott Adams said Ferncliffe Farm formed part of the Tauriko West structure plan, which was crucial to the future growth of Tauranga.
"With a median house price now over $900,000 and significant rent pressures our city is well overdue more land supply for housing."
Adams said Tauranga City Council, developers, Crown agencies and Waka Kotahi, along with existing and future residents would all have their part to play with the delivery of this "residential growth cell".
The land concerned is currently zoned predominantly rural in the Tauranga City Plan.
It is subject to a plan change as part of the proposed new Tauriko West Urban Growth Area.
Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council are working together to develop the long-term transport network to support urban growth at Tauriko West.
Project teams are sharing updates on the three proposed long-term options for the transport network, community planning for Tauriko West, enabling works options to facilitate access and improve safety at the Tauriko for Tomorrow pop-up at Tauranga Crossing from May 12 to 16.
Waka Kotahi national manager of system design, Robyn Elston, said more than 200 people had attended the Tauriko for Tomorrow pop-up since May 13.
"This, alongside the landowner conversations from the past six weeks, will really help shape the new community and transport plans."
Waka Kotahi expects to be able to confirm the outcome of this phase, and the favoured option for the long-term transport plan, later this year.
Tauranga City Council will continue to progress short-term transport improvements and prepare the change to the Tauranga City Plan this year.
This includes the completion of the structure plan and the development of a comprehensive stormwater consent.
The council aims to notify the plan change to rezone Tauriko West from rural to urban in early 2022.
Tauranga City Council manager of city and infrastructure planning Andrew Mead said Tauriko West was one of the large-scale urban developments proposed to support predicted growth and deliver a new community with about 3000 to 4000 new homes from 2024-2025.
Mead said a draft land use plan showed the extent of land likely to be developed for residential development areas to provide a mix of housing typologies, a riverside reserve, connections to Tauriko Business Estate and the wider city, walkways and cycleways along the Wairoa River.
It is expected construction of the first houses will start in late 2024 or early 2025.
Initial expressions of interest for Ferncliffe Farm close on June 10.