Rapid growth, increased demand for commercial space and Tauranga's worsening traffic woes have sped up plans for a new office building as part of Papamoa Plaza's expansion.
Opening early next year, the Plaza's new office building will accommodate a range of local and national businesses.
Papamoa Plaza centre manager David Hill said many businesses had expressed interest, and some had already committed.
"This has given the owners and developers the confidence to push the start button on construction even though there is currently some unallocated spaces.
"We are anticipating to be fully leased when we open in early 2020."
Hill said interest had come mainly from local people with business interests in other parts of Tauranga now wanting to base themselves in Pāpāmoa.
"We have had numerous discussions with a variety of professional businesses looking for office accommodation in Pāpāmoa.
"The demand is certainly there and the timing is right to capitalise on the business demand to service a growing residential and professional market."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said Tauranga needed more employment zoning for its growing working-age population.
"A lot of focus goes into zoning for housing supply, but these new residents need to work somewhere.
Tauranga's small businesses 'feeling the pressure'
"The city needs to ensure we zone enough commercial and industrial land to keep up with demand."
Cowley said the city needed a master plan to understand how employment zones in the suburbs, including the Mount, Pāpāmoa, Tauriko and Bethlehem, related to the city centre.
"This will ensure the city provides local employment opportunities in the suburbs while not undermining the importance of the CBD."
More commercial office space in Pāpāmoa would hopefully ease traffic congestion as many Pāpāmoa residents travelled across the city for work, he said.
Cowley said there was a growing cluster of small businesses in Pāpāmoa that required other business support services, including lawyers, accountants and marketing firms.
"It is great to have nearby support for these businesses."
Bayleys Tauranga commercial manager Mark Walton said there was a strong level of interest from a wide range of businesses in the new Pāpāmoa office building.
Walton said there was an increasing demand in the city's suburban areas with the region's continued growth.
"These areas are now seen as either satellite office locations or as a destination business for their staff, clients or customers."
Walton said businesses were feeling the impact of traffic congestion and accessing their workplace with ongoing pressure on roading infrastructure, particularly around large commercial hubs.
He said an effort to implement a positive work/life balance had resulted in large demand for offices closer to the beach where staff could exercise outside during work hours.
"Further development in technology has allowed for the remote office and shared office space to be a very popular option for small to medium-sized operators."
Office space in Tauranga's CBD was coping with refurbishment and redevelopment of the city centre.
"With this serious investment back into our CBD comes limited parking, restricted access points, and disruption to the day to day business flow.
"So while this area will be re-invigorated in the coming years to a vibrant hub, businesses will look for easier and more appealing alternatives in the short term."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said a large amount of Tauranga's population growth was in Pāpāmoa.
"It is no surprise to see office space becoming available in that area. We would expect that it would be a good option for local businesses and people living nearby."
The new Pāpāmoa businesses would be announced closer to the opening date early next year.
Construction on the office space next to the new Best Start Childcare Centre at the plaza will start early September.