A record $2.4 million sale price for an inner-city apartment in Tauranga has been chalked up by a development behind the police station in Park St.

The Real Estate Institute has confirmed that the $2.398m price paid for the northeast-facing penthouse of the Latitude Residences was the top price ever paid in the downtown.

While it was millions behind prices paid for top apartments at Mount Maunganui, the response shown by buyers to the planned $29m Latitude Residences development had provided another boost to the buoyant market emerging out of the doldrums of the downtown.

Read more: House sellers' message to realtor: 'Let young family have it'
Public views sought on development in Papamoa for 15,500 more residents


Latitude was one of seven planned city centre developments with the potential to deliver nearly 200 new apartments.

Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said Latitude Residences would help meet the growing demand for inner-city living.

"Medium- to high-density residential developments on the city fringes are essential if we want to see Tauranga grow into a vibrant and contemporary city."

Looking at the emerging big picture for the downtown, with its planned new apartments, commercial buildings, university campus and 12-level student hostel, Mr Tutt said: "What we are seeing is a boom in inner-city development."

Latitude's marketing agents and Ray White Tauranga directors Rodney Fong and Ian Grindle said apartments sales had ranged from $579,000 to $2.398 million.

"This is extremely encouraging for both the property sector and city-centre residential developments," Mr Fong said.

So far 13 of the 28 luxury apartments in Latitude had been sold off the plan since June.

"It is another indicator of the revitalisation of the city centre. More and more out-of-towners and locals are looking for residential options that put them in the heart of the city."

Mr Fong could not disclose who bought the penthouse except to say it was a local person.

It joins other recently announced major projects including the $100m retail and apartment development on the Farmers corner and the $50m 12-storey retail, office and apartment building planned to replace the former Westpac Bank mirror glass building at the bottom of Devonport Rd.

A three-storey restaurant and office development next to the Brooklyn Bar on The Strand was 75 per cent let, with the owners hoping to have a consent in two weeks.

It was being marketed by Ray White commercial and industrial specialist Philip Hunt, who knew of two other commercial projects in the pipeline for the downtown that had yet to be announced.

The council has granted resource consent for the $40m high-rise student hostel in Durham St comprising 427 self-contained studio rooms.

QP Property Holdings managing director John McColl said Warren and Mahoney Architects were working on detailed designs, with construction due to begin mid-2018 and finish late 2020.

The hostel would be built just along the road from the $39m university campus now being built opposite Trustpower's head office.

Planned inner-city apartments
Farmers Corner: 70 to 90 apartments
Quest Boutique Apartment Hotel: 42 apartments
Latitude Residences: 28 apartments
One Selwyn: 19 apartments
Two Devonport Rd: 9 apartments
Beeches on Monmouth: 6 apartments
107 Wharf St: 4 apartments