|Chief Executive of Priority One
As 2024 starts, it’s a pleasing sight to see several large cranes in Tauranga’s CBD. While this may not be the most aesthetically pleasing thing to celebrate, it’s a great sight for those interested in the progress of our city centre.
The New Year sees a number of projects underway in the city centre, which are now more visible to the public than they have been in the past.
Vacant sites and older buildings are being replaced with new developments at an increasing rate. Private sector development interest in Tauranga’s CBD has ramped up significantly in the 2020s due to growth of the city and council investment in place-making infrastructure.
Priority One identified 20 key developments in the Tauranga CBD Blueprint, released in 2022, at varying stages of development.
These are large-scale projects that take several years from start to finish, so construction above ground now is the product of years of previous work.
A prominent building under construction in Tauranga’s skyline now is Willis Bond’s development at 90 Devonport Rd; aside from its size and location it is distinctive because it will be the largest mass timber office building in New Zealand when complete.
Just a few hundred metres down the road is the 2 Devonport Rd office building, the soon-to-be-home of Craigs Investment Partners – a premium office space with unhindered views of Tauranga Moana.
Further north there are several large developments in close proximity: the office to house Manawa Energy and NZ Blood Service at 93 Cameron Rd; the redevelopment of the stalled carpark building on Harington St, now including office space; and an exciting development between The Strand and Willow St – the Northern Quarter office and hospitality space.
These developments are complemented by council’s Te Manawataki o Te Papa civic precinct and waterfront developments.
More city living
In the last week we’ve seen the launch of Elizabeth Towers for residential sales. This building, above the Farmers retail store, has recently been completed and the 96 premium apartments and 23 villas are now on the market.
This building is the largest residential development in the city and follows other great developments such as Latitude, Vantage and Camden apartments. Expect to see more residential developments follow these, enabling more people to be living in the city.
There is further momentum for our city centre in the form of the expanding University of Waikato campus.
We expect the campus to go from strength to strength now, with student and staff numbers increasing, the impending return of international students, and increased course offerings.
While broader economic conditions are expected to remain unsettled through at least the first half of 2024, we can take some heart in the progress we’ll see in city this year, as buildings continue to rise out of the ground and the city gains more people living, working and studying.