IT'S OPEN: Crowds turn out for historic Rose City moment
HUNDREDS of excited shoppers have gathered at Rose City Shoppingworld this morning to celebrate the opening of the final stage of development, the Fitzroy St mall and the new Coles supermarket.
A small crowd was on hand at 7.30am to watch Southern Downs mayor officially open the mall alongside McConaghy Group director Robert McConaghy and Rose City Shoppingworld centre manager Jason Gard.
When it came time to cut the ribbon, opening the centre to the waiting public, Cr Dobie selected a young member of the crowd to share the moment.
From there eager shoppers streamed into the mall, heading to Coles to find a prime position for its 8am opening.
At 8am the crowd had swelled to more than 100 and inside the new Coles store, dozens of staff, directors, special guests and dignitaries held an opening ceremony before Cr Dobie and staff cut the ribbon, heralding a new era for shoppers in Warwick.
Rolanda Ruddle and daughter Krystina were some of the first 100 customers inside the new store.
"I'm here because I'm really excited that it's all finally opening," Mrs Ruddle said.
"I'm not surprised to see so many people here, we've been waiting a long time for this.
"It means more choices for Warwick shoppers and the store is really beautiful, it looks great."
Garry Brown had also braved the crush to be a part of history.
"We wanted to be here to check it out, see how big it is and we weren't disappointed," he said.
"This is great for Warwick and pretty exciting."
For Rose City Shoppingworld centre manager Jason Gard the opening of the mall and Coles signals a finish line in sight.
"To finally open up this last stage of the redevelopment is hugely exciting," Mr Gard said.
"This is great for Warwick, even as the development has been progressing we've seen more and more people coming through the centre.
"There's more on offer now, meaning people can shop locally.
"Every new or relaunched store that has opened up of the course of the development has been successful."
Mr Gard said the huge job of redevelopment hadn't been without its hiccups.
"That's all behind us now however," he said.
"We've managed to continue to operate despite a massive redevelopment going on around us and the tenants and shoppers of Warwick deserve a huge thanks for continuing to support the centre through all the noise and the dust."
As for the crowds this morning, Mr Gard said it was fabulous to see.
"Obviously Warwick has been waiting to see this last section and they have come out to check it out," he said.
"It's great to see the support."