Tauranga Crossing's lifestyle centre has sold to a "substantial" national private investment trust for $44 million.
The 11,600sq m retail complex was built in 2018 and is occupied by three tenants, Gilmours, Farmers and Bed Bath & Beyond.
The shopping centre's chief executive Lauren Riley said funds from the sale would help to further develop the shopping centre, build new facilities and expand in the future.
Bayleys' national commercial and industrial director Ryan Johnson said the sale generated "phenomenal interest" attracting 65 inquiries and 16 bids totalling $350 million-plus.
Johnson marketed the 2.5-hectare site on Taurikura Dr with Bayleys' executive director David Bayley in conjunction with Jo Stewart from the Bayleys Tauranga office.
"We initially just had the Gilmours property for sale but this spurred inquiry in the whole complex from institutional investors interested in bigger-scale, large-format retail opportunities," he said.
"So the offering was scaled up to include the option to bid for the adjoining buildings housing the other two tenants as well."
David Bayley said the property was bought by a substantial national private investment trust.
He said a significant attraction for investors was the quality of the leases and the strength of the property's location on the main thoroughfare connecting State Highway 36 and the Tauriko Business Estate, in one of Tauranga's fastest-growing suburbs.
Tauranga Crossing, which the Lifestyle Centre is part of, has more than 120 tenants, occupying more than 45,000sq m of lettable space, and close to 1800 car parks.
Other tenants include Pak'nSave, The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, H&M and Event Cinemas as well as independent retailers and food and beverage businesses.
The regional shopping centre is being developed in stages and is expected to have 70,000sq m of retail space on completion.
Tauranga Crossing chief executive Lauren Riley said the sale of the lifestyle centre on May 26 enables them to reinvest capital in further developing the lifestyle centre and main shopping centre.
"We are proud that the centre has become a thriving hub for locals and visitors and have ideas and plans to invest further in new facilities to serve our local community.
"Reinvesting the funds from this sale will enable us to further develop the site, build new facilities and expand the centre to serve our local community even better."
Bayleys Commercial Tauranga manager Mark Walton said the last six months has been extremely strong for commercial business.
Walton said there had been increasing demand from buyers from across the country for commercial property assets in Tauranga, particularly in the higher-end $10m to $100m value range.
"Growth locations, build quality, lease profile and ongoing attractiveness to quality tenants were vital characteristics, and we are seeing substantial competition amongst buyers."
Historically low interest and term deposit rates meant investors were actively looking for compelling returns and post-Covid the commercial property market was "stronger than ever".