Big weekend: Crowd of 150,000 packs Wollongong shopping centre.
Shoppers crammed the new development on Sunday, forming their own opinions as they took a first look at the long-awaited shopping complex.
“There’s a good energy inside. It will bring Wollongong up to date. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it lives up to the hype,” said Debbie, from Mt Keira.
“It is good bang for your buck,” said Nick of Fairy Meadow.
Others, however, had some reservations.
“It is too cluttered and hard to move through, especially with a pram,” said young dad James, of Bulli, with kids in tow.
“I was looking forward to it opening, but I don’t really like many of the shops,” said Erin, of Fairy Meadow.
One thing I was pleased to see is that the Coles (which is very good, but is after all just Coles!) is stocking South Coast Milk.
The Berry Central Creamery was built on the present factory site in 1895 and was equipped with the most modern machinery available at that time to manufacture butter. In 1900, the Berry Creamery became the first factory in NSW to adopt pasteurisation of cream for manufacture into butter….
The volume of milk handled at the factory increased considerably in 1976 with a peak annual milk intake of 22 million litres but as the 1980s dawned, a downward trend developed. Farm milk quotas were reduced and spiralling land prices enabled many dairy farmers to sell their properties…
The most recent step in the history of this successful and long-lived cooperative is the production and supply of local milk under the SOUTH COAST DAIRY brand. This premium range of products is available right across the South Coast region and, of course, from Berry itself.
Note that Keira Street has temporarily been closed to traffic but reopens shortly. Meanwhile in Crown Street Mall on the other side of Keira Street on last Friday’s market day:
Sadly, the scene from Church Street down to Corrimal Street is still chaos. One can’t help wondering how many businesses in that part of Crown Street will survive the pull factor of the new centre which, I suspect, will see people not venturing outside its three busy hubs. That businesses further down Crown Street Mall are still trading in a constantly shifting, chaotic building site hardly makes that part of town more attractive at the moment. Could we eventually see rows of empty shops? See No relief for Crown Street Mall retailers (August 2014).