The first crane is in the sky, and construction of Wollongong’s Parq on Flinders development is scheduled to be completed in late 2020.
The proposal was approved in late 2016 for the triangular site between Keira, Flinders and Campbell streets.
Entailing 224 apartments and eight commercial sites, Parq on Flinders will have four separate residential towers of seven and eight storeys.
Alex Lei, general manager of development for Malaysian-based developers BRDB visited the site this week.
Mr Lei said they were looking at the fourth quarter of 2020 for completion of Parq on Flinders.
According to Mr Lei, more than 60 per cent of the apartments and one of the commercial lots have been sold.
Shane Wilson, project manager for Hutchinson Builders said they were on schedule in terms of construction, and were currently completing earthworks.
"Hopefully we're out of the ground in five weeks' time," he said. "We've pretty much completed the dig for the basement area, and we're working on our detailed excavation at the moment."
Mr Lei said Parq on Flinders was BRDB's first project in Australia.
"We were exploring sites in NSW, and we do have another site in Miranda as well," Mr Lei said.
He said they were actively looking at other sites for development in Wollongong and Sydney, with plans to eventually expand to half-a-dozen projects throughout Australia.
"A second project can happen in Wollongong," Mr Lei said.
The Mercury reported in 2017 that construction of Parq was scheduled to begin in early 2018.
Although the start of construction was pushed back until November 2018, Simon Kersten from managing agents Colliers International said last year there had been no concerns regarding buyers potentially reneging on contracts due to the delays.
Last year, Mr Kersten said the current construction plan “puts us well ahead of the end of the contract period for the buyers who have already bought”.
“The buyers who have already bought, their contracts say it must be built by July 2021,” he said.
Owners of Parq on Flinders had previously allowed buyers to pay off their deposit in installments to ease the pain at the purse.
Mr Lei said this incentive (which concluded in April last year) had proven popular with first home buyers, who had up to two years to save for their deposit.
"Saving for that deposit is very difficult nowadays - having that ten per cent upfront," he said.
"Two per cent bites are much more budget-able for them."
According to Colliers, of the remaining apartments for sale, one-bedroom apartments start at $444,000, two-bedroom apartments from $635,000, Sky Homes from $649,000, and a limited selection of three-bedroom apartments and penthouses start from $1,095,000.
For several years, the huge development site was arguably Wollongong’s most controversial block of land.
It was once flagged for the corruption-laden ‘Quattro’ development.
"There is some history on the site, but when we purchased the site we saw it as a significant asset because it was at the location just at the tip of this Keira Street entrance," Mr Lei said.
"It's a prime CBD site, and whoever lives here will be able to walk down Keira Street to Wollongong Central in just five minutes.
"How do you find that in Sydney, where you have such a prime location site, highly visible and accessible to all these amenities?"