Retail doors open on $200m Tauranga development

The new Farmers store has opened its doors. Photo. John Borren.

The grand opening of the retail spaces at Thirty Eight Elizabeth, which began construction in 2018, went ahead on Thursday with hopes of marking a new dawn for Tauranga’s CBD.

Just over 7000sqm of the 8000sqm retail offering on the ground and second level is now open, including the new Farmers store, Whitcoulls and Pascoes.

“This entrance on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Devonport Road is the gateway to a new fashion and beauty retail experience, one that Tauranga has been waiting for to bring revitalisation to the CBD,” says Thirty Eight Elizabeth project manager Brett Nicholls.

“The entire development provides a grand gateway to the CBD, one that celebrates the history and significance of the site for the CBD.”

A morning karakia and ribbon cutting was held on site to mark the official opening. A small group of kaumātua led by Tamati Tata, as well as a limited number of Tauranga City Council commissioners, Farmers’ managers, and building contractors gathered to celebrate.

“Ngāi Tamarāwaho, the Ngāti Ranginui iwi hapū, whose people traditionally lived in the area, hold the mana whenua for the site, which is at the heart of its rohe,” says kaumātua Buddy Mikaere.

“Ngāi Tamarāwaho has supported this project from the outset and considers that the redevelopment fits with its aspirations for the city centre. Ngāi Tamarāwaho is pleased to see the site being put to useful purpose.”

The full grand opening of the site, including the rest of retail, food and beverage, and residential offerings launched for sale, is expected to take place in the first half of 2022, dependent on Covid-19 restrictions.

“We want the fullness and potential of the entire development to be open and enjoyed as soon as possible,” says Brett.

“That is why we have put extra resources into the build from the start to bring it to fruition in an ambitious timeframe. We are not far behind schedule considering the number of Covid setbacks our amazing team has had to overcome.”

The residential part of the new building includes 23 townhouses and 97 apartments across two towers and are available for purchase in the first quarter of 2022.

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