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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.