New restaurants/townhouses for CBD

A computer-rendered image of the new Farmers building (artist impression only). Supplied image.

Computer-rendered plans have been released showing the proposed $100 million-plus Farmers redevelopment will feature a strip of cafes and restaurants along Elizabeth St with balconies overlooking the city centre.

The plans also show that, in addition to the 73 apartments announced earlier, the building will include nearly two dozen executive townhouses to be constructed above the two-storey retail plinth.

Elizabeth Properties Limited – part of James Pascoe Group that owns Farmers and other popular retail brands says the cafes and restaurants are being included as part of a global trend towards broadening the experience of shopping.

Company spokesperson Brett Nicholls says Tauranga will be among the first cities to experience this new level of sophistication in New Zealand.

“It's an exciting idea that has caught on in shopping areas overseas. People are looking for a whole new experience when they go out. They're enjoying a quality meal at their shopping destination, rather than eating and shopping separately.”

The proposed building will feature 320 car parks, and two towers containing the 73 apartments, and 23 townhouses. Around 180 of the building's car parks will be available to the public.

This is more than twice as many that are currently publicly available at Farmers.

Brett says the company's intention behind the introduction of the executive townhouses is to offer greater residential choice.

“The two- to three-bedroom executive townhouses will come with the benefit of all that the wider development offers, but at a price point that suits purchasers looking to get into the Tauranga market.”

The plans also aim to transform a lane between Elizabeth St and First Ave with “hole-in-the-wall” eateries accessible to pedestrians. Brett says this is one of his favourite aspects of the design.

“We're aiming for a Melbourne feel, with outdoor seating and dining. Features such as these will be a real catalyst for change for Tauranga's CBD.”

The images have been released after meetings between Brett and representatives of iwi, Heart of the City, Tauranga City Council, Priority One, Mainstreet Tauranga and neighbouring businesses.

Brett says consultation is an “extremely important” part of the development process, as it is crucial the new building fits in with the character of Tauranga's downtown area.

He is keen to hear feedback and answer any questions about the proposal, and says a public open day is planned in the near future.

“A development on this scale is a tremendous commitment, but it's one we're willing to make because Farmers has played such an iconic role on that corner. We have faith Tauranga is ready for this kind of development, and we intend to deliver.”

The Farmers corner has a long history of retail stretching back to its roots as a mall in the early 1970s.

Farmers will move to Tauranga Crossing while the site is being developed and will move back when it is completed. Other retailers expected to move into the building include Stevens Homewares, Whitcoulls and Pascoes the Jewellers.

The development comes at a time in which the council's Heart of the City campaign looks for ways to reinvigorate the CBD by drawing people into town and spurring the local economy. Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless, Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt and Downtown Tauranga spokeswoman Sally Cooke have all publicly endorsed the development.

The company expects to lodge consent applications before the end of this year. An expected opening date is yet to be finalised.

By the numbers

- $100+ million development

- Six cafes and restaurants

- Two levels of retail

- 8000 square metres retail

- 320 car parks on 5 levels

- 73 high-end apartments

- 23 town houses

- Farmers to return (taking 3/4 of retail space)

- Other retailers to join



12 Comments

@Accountable

Posted on 11-10-2017 08:45 | By Papamoaner

I don't claim you to be wrong about any of that, but what you accuse TCC of is not a local problem. It's the same everywhere these days. It's evolution, and difficult to steer. Alternatively, if you can succeed in finding a new workable direction, you are a council that is an innovative world leader. Good luck with that, but I reiterate that we either embrace change or end up being a straggler in the general scheme of things. It's that old adage again;- learn from experience or be doomed to repeat it. I feel sorry for small business in the CBD's of our cities, but we have to acknowledge that it's evolution, so we must hop aboard or perish. As to Misadventure; He/she is a beggar in a blindfold, illustrated repeatedly by empirical evidence on these threads.

Papamoaner

Posted on 10-10-2017 21:26 | By Accountable

MISS ADVENTURE is basically correct in their comments. I have owned a business in the CBD for ten years just to prove I know what I'm writing about. The TCC is absolutely responsible for allowing suburban malls and shopping centers to be built thus drawing customers away from the CBD. TCC has removed about 1500 car parks from the CBD in the last five years and replaced none. TCC still insists on charging our customers for parking making us uncompetitive with these many suburban centers who offer an abundance of free parking. TCC have allowed developers the opportunity to build in the CBD without having to allow for parking. This only applies to the CBD. TCC have created many one way streets or blocked streets off completely making it difficult to move around the CBD. TCC have made it clear they are not interested in CBD retai

@TgaLoyal

Posted on 10-10-2017 14:03 | By Papamoaner

I empathise with your sentiment to a degree, but these are private enterprise initiatives and we can't just regulate them out in a free society. We have to embrace a changing world or fall by the wayside. Traffic density is just a symptom of population and technology explosion in an affluent society and it's going to get worse. Pretty soon now we will start paying a price (sic) for the takeover of society and culture by smartphone and similar, not a lot unlike motor cars already are. I keep my sanity in old age these days by reading old westerns. Nothing quite so romantic as breaking in the wild west, all horses and no cars. And now they have a president turning the whole place into a reality show. (Did I mention sanity?)

Please no.

Posted on 10-10-2017 10:37 | By tgaloyal

Why can't we just leave things how they are?Most of us enjoy Tauranga how it is and do not want to attract more traffic and more people. We especially do not want our town turned in to an apartment city full of cars. Can this money/investment not go to something else more important?

@the ultra-parochial Misadventure.

Posted on 10-10-2017 09:17 | By Papamoaner

Incorrect!It has little to do with TCC. This is not only happening all around the country but also all around the world where Malls are being built. Have you seen Ayala Mall in Cebu? It's on 4 levels and ultra modern. The surrounding shops have shut down and now people are living in them. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe we should look at converting the CBD to a business-residential mix by converting empty shops into apartments. Another example - People from Lower Hutt say the once bustling High street shopping area is now a ghost town of empty shops since Queensgate Mall was built. Yet the local economy is healthy. If you can't fight change, embrace it! Continually blaming the TCC for everything, as you do, is pathetic.

Nice

Posted on 09-10-2017 22:34 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The CBD is dying thanks to TCC presence and most importantly the decisions it has made. These things have accumulated such that the only logical thing for a busienss to do is leave. The obvious is happening, that being to shuffle out into the avenues. Tpyically the expansion of the CBD is actually a move of the CBD to the area in say 2-11 perhaps 15th Avenue. Oh when will COuncilors at TCC rwealise that they are the menace, distraction and obstracl to good business. God-save-the-Ratepayer,-as-no-one-else-wants-to,-10/4-out!

@Accountable

Posted on 09-10-2017 11:33 | By Papamoaner

I am nervous about it for similar reasons. There is now a firm history all around the country where big malls have killed off traditional shopping, partly because they provide free 2 to 3 hour parking.Some main streets are like ghost towns with rows of empty shops. These big malls are also attractive to terrorists. I wouldn't feel entirely comfortable shopping in those high density crowds for too long.

Looks like...

Posted on 09-10-2017 11:21 | By Me again

a good plan for down town but alas I don't think it's going to last. Like everything in the CBD it flops if TCC have anything to do with it.

By accounatable

Posted on 09-10-2017 11:07 | By waiknot

Im sure Farmers did their due diligence

Great

Posted on 08-10-2017 17:21 | By jh

Looks Great, a good plan

Good luck the Farmers

Posted on 08-10-2017 17:00 | By Accountable

I write this because when I read the list of organisations the Farmers have been in discussion with they will have a very one sided and distorted story. The list of organisations are either Council or their controlled organisations and that includes iwi and Ms Cooke representing Mainstreet. The Council have made a real botch up of the CBD and now they will do and say whatever it takes to show they are trying to revive a dying city center especially when their is no risk to them. Maybe the Farmers will have a rethink when they start consultation with the honest people who are heavily involved in the CBD. They will be better off financially staying out at the Tauranga Crossing. Unless the Council are prepared to allow the CBD to compete with the suburban shopping centers why would you shop in the CBD?

Thumbs up

Posted on 08-10-2017 13:08 | By dookie

Looks great, thumbs up!

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