Contractors have broken ground on a new 197-home lifestyle village in what has been described as the largest single consent issued for Rotorua in the past two decades.
The new Freedom Lifestyle Villages development, at the Ngongotahā end of Pukehangi Rd, is designed as a lifestyle village for people over 50 who are looking for a more secure and modern style of living, Rotorua Lakes Council said in a statement this morning.
It was expected that show homes would be opening to the public by mid-2022, with the first residents expected to take occupancy by the end of 2022.
Rotorua Lakes Council District Development deputy chief executive Jean-Paul Gaston said unlocking land and enabling new developments was the number one priority for the council.
"Population projections tell us that we are going to be seeing a lot more households wanting more compact living, modern homes that are low maintenance and suit a modern lifestyle," he said.
"We know that developments like lifestyle villages, apartments and townhouses are the types of homes that a portion of our community will be looking for.
"The benefit of seeing these types of builds happen in Rotorua, is that more of the traditional housing supply is opened up for people looking to enter the market."
Gaston said enabling developments such as the Freedom Lifestyle Village was a key priority for the council.
"We want to open up as much land as possible for greenfield development, while also enabling new builds in already developed areas, making the most of the amenities and infrastructure that we already have in place."
Freedom Lifestyle Villages is a wholly New Zealand owned private company with three completed over 50s lifestyle village in the North Island, and three further villages secured for development over the next three years.
Freedom said the development was a natural fit for Rotorua and the wider region, and it was expected that more than 65 per cent of residents would be from the local area.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said it was great news.
"It is a substantial development that will provide another option for people and adds to the momentum we are starting to see with work underway on a number of residential developments right now.
"We need housing of all types in Rotorua and our council has committed to some significant targets, working in collaboration and partnership with iwi, landowners and developers and central government on multiple fronts to facilitate and enable more housing," Chadwick said.
Freedom's development was the largest single consent issued in the past two decades.
It is the second significant consent to be issued this year, joining Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands' development in Eastside.
The first three stages of the Wharenui Rise development was consented earlier this year for a total of 127 lots.
Titles have been issued for stage 1 of Wharenui Rise for the first 52 lots.