A Bay of Plenty mall has officially been blessed and opened this morning after a $115m overhaul.

The official blessing of Bayfair began at 7am, commemorated with a song and dance by children from Te Kura o Matapihi and dignitaries.

Te Kura o Matapihi children performing for the opening ceremony. Photo / Kiri Gillespie
Te Kura o Matapihi children performing for the opening ceremony. Photo / Kiri Gillespie

The doors will open to general public at 9am.

There are more than 30 new stores which include Seed Heritage, The Source Bulk Foods, Peter Alexander and Cotton On Mega.

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Dotti, Macpac, Portmans, Jacqui E and The Cosmetic Clinic will be moving into Bayfair for the first time.

Rodd & Gunn and Max will also expand into larger stores and Merric, The Coffee Club and Dominos will return.

Bayfair's centre manager Steve Ellingford said he was immensely proud of the project team's efforts to get to today.

AMP's head of development team David Cosgrove said the genesis for the project began 15 years ago.

"Bayfair is without a doubt the best shopping experience in Tauranga and today it just got better."

AMP property general manager Mark Kirkland paid tribute to local iwi Ngai te Rangi for their involvement.

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"This is another great way to invest in the local community. We have had upwards of 400 construction jobs and centre completion will deliver another 500 jobs within the local community which is fantastic to support."

By 7.30am, Mount Maunganui woman Caro Wonrthington was first in a growing queue of a least 200 outside popular make up shop Mecca Maxima.

The shop, like the others, was not expected to open until 9am but Worthington was up at 5.30am to ensure her position.

When asked why, she replied "because, finally! I'm very excited. That's why I'm first in line.

"We moved down from Auckland where we finally got it, but moved. So whenever someone we knew, or one of us, would go overseas we put always put in an order or try to stock up."

Jessica Jones, third in line, agreed.

"We were so excited. It's about time though, for Bayfair to start growing."

Another woman further down the line was blown away by the turn out but wasn't surprised.

The woman, who would not be named, said the opening of the store was all she had heard about for the past week.

 Isobel Heasman, (left), and Hannah Booth at the opening. Photo / Kiri Gillespie
Isobel Heasman, (left), and Hannah Booth at the opening. Photo / Kiri Gillespie

By 8am, the queue stretched out of the Bayfair building and into the car park.

Influencers Mount Muse, Tastefully Tash and Carmen Lett will be at Bayfair's opening st 9am.

Isobel Heasman said she didn't mind part of the huge line for Mecca because she was a big fan and found out about its opening on Facebook. Friend Hannah Booth agreed, saying Bayfair's new stage and new shops were a good thing.

Last month, Ellingford said the new retailers meant there was confidence in the market "now and into the future".

"You just have to look at the number of building consents coming through to see that we are certainly in a very strong growth period," he said.

"It is hard to find staff because of the job growth and that is a very good problem to have."

More to come.