A new four-level office development on The Strand and the latest stage in the construction of Zespri's multimillion-dollar head office contributed to $32 million in commercial consents issued in Tauranga last month.

Priority One's latest monthly building consent report showed $2.7m was issued for a four-level commercial building at 49-51 The Strand, $24m for stage 3 of the Zespri head office development and $1.7m for a fit-out at Gilmours' new base at Tauriko.

Both Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty Council issued lower than usual building consents during December in terms of the value and number in most categories.

Tauranga issued 130 building consents worth $58.3m last month, down from 236 consents worth $90.6m in November and also less than the $64.5m issued in December 2016.


There were 89 building consents worth $17.1m issued in the Western Bay last month, less than 114 worth $27.3m in November and slightly down on the $19.5m issued in December 2016.

There was one large over $1m commercial consent issued in the Western Bay last month for 16 new units at Summerset Retirement Village at Katikati worth $2.4m.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said December was quieter than other months due to the Christmas holidays.

"Local authorities often have reduced numbers of planning staff on board at the end of December and in early January, so they are not able to process as many consents as when they are fully staffed."

Hill said the development of new "A-grade" office space in the city centre would add to the vibrancy of The Strand and wider CBD.

"Being located close to restaurants, bars and other amenities such as the waterfront will be a strong attractor for commercial tenants to the development.

"Investors follow a rigorous process before deciding to develop a commercial building of this scale. They will already have commercial office tenants signed up before the first sod is turned to ensure the development is viable."

One of four developers for 51 The Strand Simon Collett said the new office development would offer "beautiful views of the harbour".


"It will bring more daily foot traffic to The Strand. We are expecting between 60-70 people in the offices."

Collett said the new office development would include three office levels and a restaurant and cafe on the ground level.

"We are looking to provide something different.

"It is going to be a fine dining cafe with a Scandinavian look."

Collett said the floors would be laid next week and the aim was to complete the building by July this year.

Real Estate agent Lloyd Davidson said the new office space was part of the revitalisation of the CBD.

"From what we are seeing it is encouraging and giving confidence to those looking to trade or be commercially involved in the Tauranga CBD," he said.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief Stan Gregec said a new office development on The Strand would "blend in" with other commercial buildings in the area.

"Combining hospitality with commercial and a little bit of retail adds up to an interesting mix which I'm sure won't do The Strand any harm," Gregec said.

"Having an office overlooking the waterfront is likely to be a premium opportunity for any business. Any kind of development like this brings new employment and economic benefits to the area."

Tauranga City Council's city transformation general manager, Jaine Lovell-Gadd, said the CBD was experiencing major growth, with more businesses based in the city.

"We welcome more commercial buildings to accommodate these businesses, and see this as a really positive development for Tauranga and our economy."

Zespri chief financial officer Dave Hazlehurst said Zespri had outgrown its existing building.

"With global sales expected to more than double to $4.5 billion by 2025, the new building will provide the facilities we need to deliver this growth for the kiwifruit industry," he said.

Total value: $58.3m
Number: 130

Single dwelling consents:
Total value: $22.2m
Number: 54

Commercial consents:
Total value: $31.8m
Number: 3

Government and community consents:
Total value: $443k
Number: 3

Total value: $17.1m
Number: 89

Single dwelling consents:
Total value: $10.0m
Number: 25

Commercial consents:
Total value: $2.5m
Number: 3

Government and community consents:
Total value: $11,000
Number: 2