GPT opening: 'Wollongong will be a new town'

Keira Street shop owners are hopeful business will be booming once the new GPT development opens in the coming weeks.

The road has been closed to traffic since the start of July, with pedestrians directed along the strip through varying paths depending on where work is being done.

Once the project is complete, a slew of restaurants is set to open in the city centre.

But, rather than being concerned the new food outlets will take away trade from the established eateries, shopkeepers are optimistic the increased interest along the street will drive customers to their businesses as well.

Coconut Thai owner Suban Phutkhunthot took over the business two months ago after working at the restaurant for a decade, confident customers would flow once the work outside was complete.

"Wollongong will be a new town," she said.

While business has been slower in recent weeks, Ms Phutkhunthot said they were still making enough money to pay their bills, rent and staff.

Bar Pellegrini's Dave Saveski said the road closure hadn't been as bad as people thought, with extra coffees sold each day thanks to the tradesmen working close by.

He was not fazed by the increased competition the new business would bring, as he said it would being more people into town.

Living Room owner George Antoniou has noticed a steady improvement since foot traffic was directed past his front door.

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