Wollongong shopping center has finally opened its doors after years of planning and $200m.Consumers turned up in vast numbers to take advantage of the grand opening. Queues for lunch extended five deep at the new food court, with every seat was filled and the demand for sandwiches and fish and chips was extremely high.
The huge numbers of people were huddled together at JB Hi-Fi and packed into Grill’d, the burger joint on the ground floor. At 8am, when Coles opened on the lower ground level, there was a mere trickle of visitors, but this soon changed. People arrived to check what was available and how they would be saved the weekly shopping drive. People admired the aluminum ceilings and stated that the center was bigger and better than expected.
In the food court, mobile phone chargers could be found built into the tables and pots containing living herbs were the centerpieces.
Whilst visitors were sipping their morning coffee, some of the massive windows unexpected levered open, filling the area with fresh air from outside and offering views across the Keira Street business roofs. The windows were designed by Allstaff Airconditioning and includes a device which measure wind. The air conditioning is automatically switched as soon as the windows open. The windows are set to open and close at different times during the day, dependent on the conditions. It makes use of a measurement system of the humidity and temperature outside and compares it to the measurements inside, then decides whether there is an advantage to open up to obtain free cooling.
Civic leaders met for speeches at 9:30am on Keira Street. The Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Gordon Bradbery, told the gathered crowd that the new development had placed Wollongong on the world stage.
This center is unlike anything Wollongong has ever seen. It is set, like other modern shopping centers, to offer customers a place to socialize, not only shop.
14 OCTOBER 2014, Australia