Why the Bay of Plenty?
The Bay of Plenty region, which encompasses Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane and a number of smaller towns, is New Zealand’s fifth-largest and fastest-growing regional economy.
Tauranga Crossing’s location, connecting Tauranga with Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua, means it’s benefited from the rise of those two economies – Auckland is two and a half hours away, and Hamilton just one hour and fifteen minutes.
The closest residential development to Tauranga Crossing is The Lakes, which is directly opposite the centre. Currently, The Lakes is 75 percent complete, and when the development is finished, it is expected there will be 2,081 dwellings and more than 7,000 permanent residents anticipated to be living there.
Also in Tauranga Crossing’s immediate vicinity is the rapidly-expanding Tauriko Business Estate. As of February 2017, the area had 94 businesses employing more than 2,000 people. It’s expected to accommodate a working population of around 5,000 full-time staff by 2031.
Despite the Tauranga region’s tempting demographic and rapid growth, retail development in the area has previously been limited. Within its local context, Lewis says, the Tauranga Crossing centre is competitive in every way, from its scale and format to its design and retail range.
“The region does not currently have an all-weather shopping destination that provides cinema, dining and fashion, combined with a discount department store and supermarket,” says Lewis. “Tauranga Crossing will be the only one-stop shopping destination in the Bay of Plenty.”
“The scale gives us the ability to provide the broadest and best range, including international retailers not currently in the region.”
Tauranga Crossing’s location at the intersection of State Highway 36, State Highway 29 and Route K which connects the centre to the CBD was chosen for its accessibility. McGinley says approximately 18,000 cars go past Tauranga Crossing every day.
“We’re providing the scale, the new offering, but also all the convenience.”
The New Zealand Transport Agency intends to continue to invest in transport links in this area, with a total of $591 million planned for Bay of Plenty roading across 2015-2018. Of this, $255 million is targeted at local road and state highway improvements.
Cruise ships are also part of the retail landscape in Tauranga, with an estimated 89 ships expected to visit the busy Port of Tauranga this year. The port is New Zealand’s largest by cargo volume.