The signs around town say "Revitalising Newcastle". But for some retailers, the city's heart has been barely beating, and to reinvigorate their business, or to even survive, they're having to move out.
So what happened to the "booming" city Transport Minister Andrew Constance talked about at the official opening of Newcastle's light rail in February?
Bob Hawes, the CEO of the Hunter Business Chamber, says the CBD is not booming commercially but is "patchy".
In this episode two of the our new interview series, The Issue, Bob Hawes says there has been a renaissance in residential development and commercial office activity, but concedes the light rail project and building construction have driven away foot traffic for retailers.
Watch episode two of The Issue: Has the light rail been good for business?
He says he is "disappointed" the state government didn't offer a relief scheme for businesses affected by the light rail construction. But the key element now is to attract people back to the CBD - and into the shops - even if it means they can no longer get a car park out the front.
Watch episode one of The Issue: How One Nation stormed the Hunter