Apartment buyers hopeful of moving into the luxury Ancora building at Shell Cove are facing delays to their settlement date of over a year, with some buyers not expecting to move in before Christmas.
The project was initially slated to be completed by mid 2023 with settlement forecast for that time.
However recent construction updates have pushed that timeline back to mid 2024 after a series of delays and ongoing issues with the project.
A project update was posted online last week, informing prospective residents of the latest delay, but was quickly removed from the website.
Hopeful buyers were later informed via phone call that they would not be able to move in before mid 2024.
Apartment buyer Kevin Withnall said he had little faith in the latest update, and does not expect to move in until the end of the year.
"They haven't met a deadline yet, so I don't know why they would start now," he said.
The $41 million project, built by Parkview Constructions on behalf of Frasers Property Australia and Shellharbour City Council, includes 64 apartments across three buildings of three and four storeys facing the Shell Cove marina and parklands.
Apartments sold off the plan have fetched upwards of $2 million, but buyers hoping to downsize and enjoy the coastal lifestyle are now having to grapple with additional headaches.
Mr Withnall said he and his wife sold their house in Kanahooka this month to align with the expected move-in date of February 2024.
However with the latest construction update pushing that back to mid 2024 at the earliest, the couple have moved into a rental to plug the gap.
"We've just found a temporary house in Farmborough Heights, that's going to cost us about $40,000 a year, for at least six months that's going to be at least $20,000 we're out of pocket."
The semi-retired couple had dreamed of waking up to a view over the marina in their newly built apartment, but now are left in limbo, while paying removalists and other costs in the interim.
"I was really looking forward to being able to relax, walk to the shops, see a nice view, but I don't know what's going to happen now," he said.
"I don't know where I'm going to live."
The current delay is not the first issue the project has faced. In September last year, a crane deck collapsed, alarming local residents and sending workers running for cover.
Throughout 2023, the completion date was consistently pushed back, with the initial mid-2023 settlement date delayed in February to the third quarter of 2023, then to the final quarter and in the latest published update in December to March 2024.
A spokesperson for Frasers Property Australia responded to a list of questions regarding the project with a one line answer.
"Frasers Property has advised its customers about the delivery program for their apartment and we will continue to do so."
The Mercury understands that there has been little progress on site since December last year, with some contractors reporting claims for payments being knocked back, leading to halts in construction work.
On the other side of the Marina, the work on the signature Nautilus apartment building has also been delayed.
Described as the "centrepiece" of the Waterfront precinct, Nautilus construction updates show the initial completion date of the third quarter of 2023 has now been delayed until March 2024.
The cause of the delays on both sites are unknown, however construction projects around the Illawarra have been held up due to skills and material shortages, rapid rises in the cost of construction meaning initial price guides are being overshot, and the nature of fixed value contracts in the construction industry.
On the Ancora project, nearby residents report seeing frequent flooding after periods of rain or at high tide. Water is then pumped out of the underground carpark into a nearby trench.
Whatever the ultimate cause of the delay, for purchasers such as Mr Withnall the priority is moving into the home of their dreams.
"We're still hoping for a good outcome, but we're not confident."