The developer behind a planned supermarket and retail centre at Fullerton Cove has held two preliminary meetings with Port Stephens Council officers as it fine-tunes its proposal.
A development company run by Sydney-based Robert Ng bought 6.8 hectares of bushland next to the Fern Bay roundabout early this year for $5.4 million.
Fern Bay and Fullerton Cove residents have long supported plans to establish a supermarket in the area.
More than 600 people signed a petition in 2019 supporting a now-approved rezoning proposal to "provide us with a supermarket we need now".
The two suburbs' closest supermarkets are an IGA at Stockton or major grocery retailers at Medowie, Mayfield and Warabrook.
The Fullerton Cove land is identified as a potential supermarket location in Newcastle and Port Stephens councils' joint Fern Bay and North Stockton Strategy, though that plan prefers a major new commercial and residential precinct at the Stockton Centre site near Stockton Bridge.
The new state Labor government has not announced what it plans to do with the disused Stockton Centre.
Port Stephens mayor Ryan Palmer said the council had decided to push ahead with the Fullerton Cove site.
"The strategy is certainly still well and truly valid but, with no timeframe for a decision over the Stockton Centre site, it was decided to move forward with the much-needed retail site for the people of Fern Bay and Stockton," he said.
Colliers selling agent Luke Rutledge said the proposed Fullerton Cove shopping centre could include a pharmacy, medical centre and speciality shops as well as a supermarket.
"It will be something like other new neighbourhood centres like the one at Cameron Park," he said.
Woolworths has been connected with past supermarket proposals at the Fullerton Cove Road site and at the nearby Newcastle Golf Club.
Mr Rutledge said the developers hoped to announce a major supermarket tenant in the next two months.
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