Wednesday was a significant day for the Hunter's newest town, with the opening of a Coles supermarket at Huntlee.
The new store - which employs 102 people - is part of the Huntlee Shopping Centre, which will also include a pharmacy, medical and dental practices, an optometrist, a barbershop, nail salon, cafe and a kebab shop.
It is the first retail centre to open in the LWP-developed town, which is located near Branxton and will eventually be home to 20,000 residents.
Coles NSW North general manager Ivan Slunjski said it was an exciting day.
"It has been an outstanding achievement by everyone involved," he said.
"Days like today don't happen very often - it's not every day we open a new store."
Store manager Tim Hill said the team was looking forward to being part of the community, with a presentation of $5000 to Branxton Greta Little Athletics Club part of the opening ceremony.
"Community is always at the heart of Coles," he said.
Mr Hill invited lifelong Greta resident Val Randall to be a special guest at the opening, and to join Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent to cut the ribbon.
Ms Randall - a well-known historian and former alderman - said it was a privilege to take part in the ceremony.
"It's an absolutely marvellous shop, it has everything you could want," she said.
Cr Pynsent was said it was a significant occasion for the Cessnock local government area.
"This is special. It will be the most modern supermarket in Australia," he said.
"This is a historical day for our local government area."
Cr Pynsent praised LWP for its vision for Huntlee, which got the green light in 2013 and is now home to over 1000 residents.
"It was something out of the box, and it has grown quickly," he said.
"It is exciting for Cessnock City Council, to have first-class facilities like this, and people wanting to live and work here, and for businesses like Coles to have confidence in the Cessnock local government area.
Huntlee project director, Stephen Thompson he was delighted that the store has opened, and that Coles has been a great partner for LWP.
"Residents of Huntlee and those living in surrounding villages will benefit from the convenience these services will bring to their new lifestyle," he said.
"Our residents are fortunate to have access to a Coles supermarket of this size and depth of range, and the mix of tenants in the centre is well suited to the needs of the rapidly growing Huntlee community.
"Coles was the first organisation to commit to the Huntlee Town Centre. They came on board in 2014, because they understood the vision and wanted to be at the heart of it."
The supermarket forms part of LWP's $1.5 billion master-planned community, which will include 7500 dwellings and a 200-hectare town centre.
A childcare centre opened at Huntlee in 2018, and a tavern is nearing completion.
Read more on this issue:
- Construction begins on Coles supermarket and shopping centre at Huntlee
- New childcare centre opens at Huntlee
- 500th block of land sold at Huntlee
- Work starts on Huntlee town centre
- First residents settling into Huntlee, the Hunter's new town
- Huntlee to contribute $39 million for new facilities and improvements
- Branxton family snaps up first block at Huntlee
- Huntlee stage one gets green light