Bay Central Woolooware has been a long time coming, but indications are that many will think it is worth the wait.
The retail centre could provide the heart and soul for the billion dollar mostly residential development for 2500 people, which was first proposed in 2011.
The multi-storey car park opened early on Wednesday, allowing a stream of early-bird visitors access well before the advertised shops opening time of 8.30am.
Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets and a handful of specialty shops and coffee bars were open, but there were also many empty spaces, with the centre to open incrementally.
Centre manager Heather Baard said, "As every hour goes by, more are opening. We expect 50 per cent to be trading by the weekend".
Ms Baard said only 10 per cent of tenancies were still to be leased.
"The fresh food precinct is launching in April and that will mainly be Panetta Mercato and Cronulla Meat Emporium," she said.
Ms Baard said six of the seven outlets in the first stage of the dining precinct were opening.
"I think it's a tremendous visual centre, with world class finishes, it's colourful and will resonate with the local community," she said.
"I think it will only go from good to great in the coming months."
The dining precinct, which faces Woolooware Bay, was attracting a lot of interest.
In front of it, the much anticipated inclusive Livvi's Place playground is close to completion. It is expected to open in late February.
Cronulla couple Nick Ostrovsky and Ines Vallely were among the first to look over the centre.
They said it was much more convenient for them as they normally shop at Miranda.
"Woolworths and Aldi looked pretty nice and the staff were very friendly," Mr Ostrovsky said.
Warren and Carlene Rolander, who moved to Woolooware Bay 12 months ago from Padstow Heights, love their new home.
"Being able to walk to this new centre is great, and our home is also just three minutes drive to the beach," Mr Rolander said.
"It's like being on holidays 365 days a year."
Naomi and Graeme Kirk, who bought an apartment in Stage 1 of the development, said they had been waiting for Bay Central "with bated breath".
"It's huge, much bigger than we expected," they said. "It will be great when it's fully open."
Bakers Delight franchisee Surya Khadka, who has been working as a baker at another store for four years while being part of a management program, sees it as a great business opportunity.
Mr Khadka and his area manager believe the new outlet could sell 600-700 loaves of bread a day, along with other products.
They expect to sell 6000 hot cross buns in the lead-up to Easter.
On Tuesday, Mr Khadka handed out 3000 loaves of bread and other baked items to workers on the Bay Central project.
An opening ceremony was held for the new Woolworths supermarket.
Manager Brett Murray said the supermarket had 160 staff, of whom 70 were new recruits.
Mr Murray said the supermarket was 2900 square metres, similar in size to the Caringbah store.
"There are 16 aisles of groceries, a full production bakery and the fruit and vegetable section includes a special range of tomatoes," he said.
Woolworths trolleys lock if you try to take them out of the centre.
Aldi says 15-20 new full and part time jobs have been created at their new outlet.
The company says the "spacious 1524 square metre store features a range of innovations, including self-checkouts, modern interior design and simple navigation to customers can easily navigate the savings on offer".
"Customers who haven't shopped with us before, should grab a trolley token (just 99c!) and head in store to check out our quality offering."