Tauranga's booming commercial sector is expected to continue to grow this year with about $350 million in commercial construction already underway or planned for the city centre alone.

The $39m new CBD university campus, $30m Latitude Apartments on Cliff Rd, and $5.7m Quest Apartments on Durham St are expected to be complete this year.

The $130m Farmers redevelopment under construction in the CBD is expected to be completed by 2022.

A $50m skyscraper at 2 Devonport Rd with retail, offices, luxury apartments is planned for 2020 - and a $39m central library in the civic campus on Willow St and $23m for the Tauranga City Council's administration building are also in the planning stages.

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Priority One's building consent figures show the $24m multi-storey parking building and bicycle hub on Harington St was the largest commercial consent issued in 2018.

That was followed by $20m for stage two of Tauranga Crossing, $19m for the groundworks of the Farmers redevelopment, $13m for extra units at Pacific Coast Village and $12.5m for the refurbishment of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council building.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said it was great to see ongoing confidence investors had in commercial property.

Tauranga City Council building services project manager Phil Roberts said the central city would be transformed in the next few years.

"The new Farmers building and the university are among several projects that will help grow the CBD," he said.

Roberts said Farmers and the Bayfair Shopping Centre project alone were likely to have a combined building cost of more than $235m.

"Projects like these bring more jobs and people into Tauranga, and will inject even more life into our vibrant CBD."

The chairman of Mainstreet organisation Downtown Tauranga, Brian Berry, said the scale of the Farmers development "dwarfed" other city commercial projects.

Berry said the addition of 119 apartments, retail and hospitality, and car parks suggested the Farmers redevelopment would provide the "biggest all-round impact" on the CBD in the next five years.

"The flow-on effect of the other projects will also be significant, and the Harington St Transport Hub will greatly assist car-parking availability at the northern end of the CBD," he said.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief Stan Gregec said the new Farmers building would be a game changer for that end of town, while the university would bring a new buzz to the CBD when it opened next year.

"Tauranga CBD has a very bright future ahead."

Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis said Tauranga was going through a
Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis said Tauranga was going through a "boom period" in commercial construction. Photo / George Novak

Tauranga Crossing chief executive Steve Lewis said Tauranga was going through a "boom period" and was one of the fastest-growing regional economies in New Zealand.

"There is strong demand from national and international retailers to come to Tauranga," he said.

"This economic growth is likely to remain strong for a period, and is a significant driver for the increased level of commercial building consents."

Brett Nicholls, spokesperson for Elizabeth Properties Limited, which is part of the James Pascoe Group that owns Farmers, believed Tauranga, and its CBD, had a bright future.

"Tauranga is experiencing accelerated development of its city centre," he said.

Nicholls believed the Farmers development was a catalyst for change.

"The timing of the redevelopment as critical for providing a much-needed boost to the Tauranga CBD and region as a whole."

Director of Generus Living Group, which is developing the Pacific Coast Village, Graham Wilkinson said the $13m consent was for 36 apartments for assisted-living, which were under construction.

"It is the first stage of the two-stage build," he said.

The $350m in developments underway or planned include:
• $130m redevelopment of Farmers site with retail, townhouses, apartments and eateries (completion 2021/22).
• $50m Craigs Investment Partners House at 2 Devonport Rd, including retail and apartments (completion 2020).
• $39m University of Waikato tertiary and research campus (completion 2019).
• $39m central library in civic campus on Willow St.
• $30m Latitude Apartments at 6 Cliff Rd (completion 2019).
• $23m Tauranga City Council administration building.
• $24m Harington St transport hub/car and bike park (completion 2020).
• $20m refurbishment of Bay of Plenty Council's Regional House on Elizabeth St (completion 2019).
• $7m private parking building on Cameron Rd between Elizabeth St and First Ave (completion 2018).
• $6m upgrade of Durham St / Durham Lane (completion 2019).
• $5.7m Quest serviced apartments on Devonport Rd (completion 2019).
• $4.9m conversion of Old Post Office into boutique hotel and restaurant (completion 2018).
• $2.7m Financial Independence House at 51 The Strand (completion 2018).
Source: Priority One