Crown Street Mall officially reopened for summer trading yesterday "right on deadline", Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
Daytime construction work has been halted for November, December and January and the barricades have come down.
Work will continue at night with seating and light poles to be installed.
A smoke-free zone has been introduced, applying to the whole mall, including Crown Street between Keira and Kembla streets, Globe Lane, Globe Way and Church Street from Globe Lane to Court Lane.
Cr Bradbery said public opinion was in favour of the smoking ban, with 85 per cent of those surveyed supporting the proposal.
On the debate about gum trees in the mall, Cr Bradbery said the council had chosen the "safest, most aesthetically attractive" trees.
"People are making noise about litter - look, we already had plane trees in the mall," he said.
"Like all trees, they need to be maintained.
"Trees beautify ... trees, I think, relax people and add a dimension to it; we're introducing natural features into the mall."
The most challenging aspect of the whole project had been working with utilities and resolving the issue of Telstra pits with asbestos, Cr Bradbery said.
"We will have to replace those in the mall ... it's all contingent on Telstra and their pit replacement policy," he said.
The mall's transformation will include decorations for the Christmas season, a synthetic ice rink and activities for children planned by Destination Wollongong.
General manager Mark Sleigh said Destination Wollongong had been planning a Christmas precinct for children to enjoy while their parents did their Christmas shopping.
Santa would be there every day.
"And Big Fat Smile are doing a community art project," he said.
Optus shop sales assistant Hayley Anderson said it was nice to finally see the barricades down in the mall.
"I forgot what it was like, it's been so blocked off," she said.
Wollongong resident Peter Wood said he had faith in the council as they had done a "great job" on the Blue Mile refurbishment.
He said it did not matter which variety of trees was planted - someone was going to be upset.