27 September 2023

Wright on the up with Koko Molonglo Woolies set to open soon

| Ian Bushnell
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Koko Molonglo development

The Koko Molonglo Centre in Wright: the suburb’s first supermarket will open in mid-October. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Anticipation is building in the Molonglo Valley for the opening next month of the Woolworths supermarket in the Koko Molonglo development in Wright.

A Woolworths Group spokesperson told Region that the supermarket giant was expected to be in a position to open the 1500 sqm Metro store in October.

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“Customers will be able to complete a full shop of products tailored to their needs,” the spokesperson said.

“This includes more food for tonight’s dinner, tomorrow’s breakfast, snacking and entertaining while continuing to deliver the freshest fruit and vegetables.

“Our Wright store team is excited to welcome and start serving the local community in the coming weeks.”

shopping centre under construction

The fit-out is progressing at the Woolworths site at Koko Molonglo. Photo: Tanzil Hossai/Our Molonglo/Facebook.

Koko developer John Krnc confirmed that Woolworths, a BWS liquor store, and TSG – Tobacco & Lotteries would be opening mid-October.

Mr Krnc said other tenancies would be progressively opening over the next few months, including Capital Chemist, an Indian grocer, Chicken Treat, Turkish 55 Restaurant & Takeaway, FB Café, Cycle City Bike Shop, Moe & Co, Barber + Hairdresser, a laundromat and dry cleaner, and a dentist.

A further three shops were being secured.

Mr Krnc said more than 250 car parks had been designated for the shoppers, customers and visitors to the Koko Molonglo Centre – Wright, located on the key corner of John Gorton Drive and Steve Irwin Avenue.

He said the Aldi supermarket slated in the next stage of the development would open in mid-2024.

car park area outside a shopping centre

The rear of Koko Molonglo where the entry, plaza and car park are located. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

So far, there is only one supermarket in the fast-growing Molonglo Valley, the IGA in Denman Prospect, and residents have to go to Cooleman Court in Weston Creek or beyond to shop, placing extra pressure on that group centre’s infrastructure, especially parking.

New Koko resident Sarah Cooper said excitement was building among her Koko neighbours and the general community.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” Ms Cooper said.

“They’ve got some other good businesses going in, a Turkish cafe and a bike store as well. It’s going to be really good to be able to, for us, just pop downstairs, but it looks like a lot of the community online is quite excited to have other shopping options besides Cooleman Court.”

The news comes as the fit-out gathers momentum and Woolworths trucks start making deliveries.

Ms Cooper said she was pleasantly surprised at the size of the supermarket and other stores, such as the pharmacy that will extend over two levels into a mezzanine floor.

“It ties in really well with what we’ve got across at Coombs having the health centre there and the vet,” she said.

truck pulling up to a supermarket

A Woolworths truck entering the Koko Molonglo loading dock on the weekend. Photo: Our Molonglo/Facebook.

Molonglo Valley Community Forum convenor Ryan Hemsley said the opening was fabulous news.

Mr Hemsley said the Woolworths Metro would be the first supermarket in Coombs and Wright to open, and the Aldi store had also been approved.

“So we’ll have one supermarket opening shortly and another supermarket opening in the not-too-distant future,” he said.

“Work on the [adjacent] Coombs and Wright village is set to get underway next year as well, so it’s all coming up Coombs and Wright.”

Mr Hemsley said the Suburban Land Agency planned to launch their estate development plan for the village later this year, which would embed a range of building quality requirements to enable the project to get off the ground.

“It’s very good to see that project proceeding around the same time that Koko is opening its doors,” he said.

“That means we’ll be able to develop a properly integrated village precinct for an area of Canberra that has had a pretty poor run of luck when it comes to those sorts of facilities.”

The shops entry and airbridge to the development’s second stage where the Aldi will be. The undercover car park is on the left. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Mr Hemsley said having both a Woolworths and Aldi at Koko would relieve a lot of pressure on Cooleman Court.

“I know our long-suffering neighbours at Weston Creek will greatly appreciate having some parking spaces back when these two supermarkets are operational,” he said.

“People who visited the new Dickson Coles, which opened last week, got a pretty good indication of the kinds of facilities we can expect in the Molonglo Group Centre, except multiplied by four.”

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The 1000 sqm supermarket tenancy in the nearby Coombs shops remains empty, despite other businesses finding homes in the centre.

Inspections and valuations for Koko apartment buyers started two weeks ago and settlement should be complete in October.

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There are already Indian grocery at Coombs shop which is walking distance from Wright.

Exactly, that’s ridiculous that they would put in another. Variety please!

Stuart Howie9:19 am 27 Sep 23

And it would be really novel if Woolies did the Wright thing and had people on the check-out. Unlike Woe-den where you’re forced to take full shops through the express lane. I’m worried about the prices at a Metro but how ab fab if and when Aldi move in.

The lack of facilities in Wright and Coombs is not due to a poor run of luck, it is due to the ineptitude of the ACT government. The actions of the Labor-Greens government have ensured poor planning outcomes in the Molonglo Valley, with many services for the area pushed off into the distant future. Roll on the next ACT election. Hopefully the electorate will see the light and toss out these jokers and elect some hard working independents who will work for the community instead of their own self-interest.

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