PHOTO: A render of the finished Elizabeth Towers development. Photo: Image / Supplied


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Tauranga’s broken-hearted CBD, once littered with for lease signs in shop windows has turned a page with the opening of a $200 million development.

Elizabeth Towers at Thirty Eight Elizabeth, which has shops, apartments and restaurants, opened its retail doors this morning.

City and business leaders hope it is what they call ‘the end of the beginning’ in revitalising the city’s centre.

When Tauranga City Commissioner Anne Tolley took on her role last year, she was shocked to find a neglected CBD.

“There were lots of empty shops, it was just deserted,” Tolley said.

“I came into the heart of the city to find its arteries were clogged and it needed a defibrillator – it was really quite true. It needed a good kickstart.”

However, with the first phase of the towers opening and council plans to bolster the revitalisation, the city was becoming something residents could be proud of, Tolley said.

“Centre cities used to be places people came to look at, and we want Tauranga to be like that too.

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“That is the aim. A CBD that not only the people of Tauranga, but people of New Zealand can be proud of and this is the start of that.”

“This” being the development which includes 120 apartments and town houses with a sky garden and dining precinct, scheduled to open later this year.

Thirty Eight Elizabeth project manager Brett Nicholls said he hoped Tauranga would be the place to be in a couple of years.

“This is the southern gateway, the start of, we believe, the CBD redevelopment in Tauranga. Tauranga is as a CBD has an immense growth potential.”

The multi-use development of residential, retail, cafes, and restaurants was part of a global trend, however, Tauranga was among the first cities in the country to utilise it, Nicholls said.

“People can enjoy living in the CBD environment, in the quiet of their space whilst enjoying the amenities that are on offer in the CBD.