A record $83 million in building consents issued in January includes the multimillion-dollar transformation of a Tauranga retirement village.

Priority One's latest figures showed Tauranga City Council issued $83m in consents, $38m more than December 2018.

Last month's consents recorded the highest January values since Priority One began calculating numbers in 2004.

This was largely due to two significant commercial consents totalling $37.5m, which included $27m for stage two of the Melrose Retirement Village development on Waihi Rd and $10.5m for stage one of the Mainfreight logistics hub at Mangatawa.

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Oceania Healthcare applied for consent in 2016 to redevelop the Waihi Rd village to build four apartment blocks that included 266 apartments plus a new care bed wing for 80 people and adding nine villas.

Chief executive at Oceania Healthcare, which operates the Melrose Retirement Village, Earl Gasparich. Photo / Supplied
Chief executive at Oceania Healthcare, which operates the Melrose Retirement Village, Earl Gasparich. Photo / Supplied

Chief executive at Oceania Healthcare, which operates the Melrose Retirement Village, Earl Gasparich said stage one of the development, which included a new 81-suite aged care facility, was completed in October last year.


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"A number of residents moved into their brand new suites in December," he said.

The $27m commercial consent issued last month was for the construction of 74 apartments and a spacious 1400sq m community facility with a cafe, restaurant, resident lounge, library, cinema, pool, gym and spa area to be completed in March 2021.

Gasparich said stages three, four and five, which would see more than 200 new units built on the site, will be completed over the next few years.

Oceania Health Care acquired the 5.7ha site in 2004.

Gasparich said it was a great opportunity to upgrade the dated facilities.

"It was very old, decades old. The new suites will be premium quality."

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the construction sector remained strong across the city, particularly for commercial developments, which reflected ongoing confidence of commercial property investors due to growth in the business community.

Hill said strong growth in building consents for retirement villages in the past few years reflected Tauranga's popularity as a place to retire.

"Their attractiveness is particularly increasing at this time largely due to the high cost of housing being experienced in Auckland," she said.

"Retirees are able to sell up in Auckland and purchase a property here, and still have some money left over to fund their lifestyle."

Tauranga was also a nationally significant logistics hub, Hill said, with a recent study by Middlebank Consulting Group identifying the city as the most cost-effective logistics hub in the country for many importers and exporters.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said the continued development of retirement villages gave people more choice for ''when that time comes and the need arises''.

''It is great for the city to have some new retirement facilities.''


MELROSE REDEVELOPMENT
Total residents:
Beginning: 140
After stage 1: 141
After stage 2: 215
On completion: 347

Total retirement units:
Beginning: 60
After stage 1: 60
After stage 2: 134
On completion: 266 (a further 161 new apartments, 29 demolished)

Care beds:
Beginning: 80
After stage 1: 81
After stage 2: 81
On completion: 81

Source: Oceania Healthcare

JANUARY 2019 SUMMARY – TAURANGA CITY
Total value: $82.8m
Total number: 159

Single/multi dwelling consents
Total value: $29.5m
Total number: 72

Commercial consents
Total value: $49.4m
Total number: 34

Government & community consents
Total value: 0

JANUARY 2019 SUMMARY – WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY DISTRICT
Total value: $22.5m
Total number: 102

Single dwelling consents
Total value: $18m
Total number: 45

Commercial consents
Total value: $1m
Total number: 5

Government & community consents
Total value: $89,000
Total number: 2

Source: Priority One