Plans for a new $15 million blood donor centre three times larger than its existing Tauranga site have been approved.
The office building at 93 Cameron Rd will be demolished to make way for a three-storey office space, which will become New Zealand Blood Service's new donor centre.
Donor service director Doug Gallagher said the new purpose-built blood donor centre would be about 200m from its current building and would offer three times more space.
"The new blood donor centre will be modern, have better parking and be in easy walking distance from the city centre, university campus and major public transport hubs."
Gallagher said the lease on its current site at 154/168 Cameron Rd, where it has been since February 2008, ends late 2022.
"As Tauranga has grown so has the number of donations that are needed to be collected at our Tauranga site, and now it has just become too small to accommodate us."
Moving into a purpose-built centre would ensure "we can scale up to match future demand for blood and plasma", Gallagher said.
It would also allow NZ Blood Service to recruit more donors in Tauranga and increase the number of donor beds from nine to 15.
"Our donor floor will be more spacious, with more beds and over time more appointments, which will mean it will be easier to book an appointment to donate.
"Our staff will have an optimised working environment, with more space for meetings and breakout areas."
Gallagher said the Tauranga donor centre had experienced a "large increase" in donations in the past few years from 11,417 in the 2020 financial year to 12,906 in the 2021 financial year.
"We expect this to continue growing."
The target for the 2022 financial year was 14,300 donations.
Gallagher said the Tauranga donor centre had 1000 active plasma donors and 2277 active whole blood donors.
"We are hoping that 1000 new donors will join our blood donor community in Tauranga this year to help meet demand."
The donor centre plans to move into its new site at 93 Cameron Rd in late 2022.
Tyler Tabak, national development manager Wallace Development Company Limited, which bought the site, said the current building would be demolished to make way for three-storey offices.
"NZ Blood will have 850sq m of space, there will be ground-floor retail and the rest office space."
Tabak said the north-facing "landmark" site would include water views and will be designed to green-star standard with "green features" including solar power and rainwater trapping.
It was estimated to be a $15m project, he said.
Local firms Cube Architects and iLine Construction have been contracted to build and design the project.
Ray White Commercial Tauranga commercial and industrial specialist Christy Arundel said the new donor centre was in a prime spot.
"It is going to be excellent for the CBD."
Arundel said the building was held by a family trust and the children wanted the successful purchaser to make their late mother proud.
"For them, it had sentimental value. They wanted to make sure it sold to the right person and it has."
She said interest in the building was strong with an "incredibly busy" four-week marketing campaign attracting hundreds of local, national and international developer interest.
"We had a lot of developer interest, including from nationwide and overseas. But for a local developer to acquire the site is just a really happy story."
She said it was a deadline sale with the closing vendors presenting multiple offers.
"The sale set a new benchmark for land of that zoning/location within the Tauranga Central area, selling at a record price of $3729 per sq m."
Ray White Commercial Tauranga managing director Philip Hunt said the sale recognised the demand for Tauranga commercial space from all around New Zealand.
"It keeps coming back to the Port of Tauranga and the number of people wanting to live here. It reinforces all those key attributes.
"We have got it all. It's great to see activity like this in the CBD."