It might be filled with dump trucks and dirt now, but within three years the long-awaited Shell Cove boat harbour development The Waterfront is expected to start taking shape.
Yesterday, the $150-million project, which has been 28 years in the making, edged a little closer with the announcement the tender for stage two had been awarded to Illawarra-based contractor Coastwide Civil.
Coastwide Civil was given the $65-million contract after completing stage one of the three-part development ahead of schedule.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the construction of the boat harbour and marina meant jobs for the community.
"This gives our community confidence but in particular it means employment opportunities for our local people and that's a good thing," she said.
"For a lot of people it means that it's real - a lot of people for a long time didn't think it was going to happen.
"Particularly it's about providing employment through the development of the site, tourism, hospitality and retail, and we want to ensure that continues."
The contract was awarded through Shellharbour council's project partner Australand.
Australand Shell Cove development director Glenn Colquhoun congratulated Coastwide Civil on winning the tender.
"The decision ... is representative of our commitment to supporting the community by appointing a local contractor that has extensive experience," Mr Colquhoun said.
"The Waterfront, Shell Cove, will be one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure delivered in coastal NSW for many years."
Stage two will involve excavation of about 950,000 cubic metres of soil and rock to form the eastern harbour basin, construction of the boat harbour edge and the boat ramp.
The final stage will connect the basin to the ocean, and is expected to be completed in 2018.