Estella's long-awaited shopping complex will prioritise local businesses when it comes to filling shop space, with several well-known establishments showing significant interest.
Developer Stuart Webster confirmed that Foodworks and Mock Orange Cafe will be a part of the complex, and Wagga businesses on his wishlist include Central Wagga's New Oceanic Take Away, Turvey Park's Indian Rasoi, and Dom's Pizza Parlour.
"We tend to focus on independent businesses," he said. "We want local owners to be our main focus."
Raine and Horne's commercial manager Craig Tait said the majority of local businesses initially tipped for the complex are still strong contenders.
"We've contacted the majority of them and they're still interested," Mr Tait said.
Roslyn Mitchell owns Mock Orange Cafe and confirmed she is a "definite" for the complex once it is underway.
"I definitely can firmly commit to the centre," she said. "I can't wait."
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Other business owners confirmed they are "very interested", but added nothing is set in stone just yet.
The owner of Turvey Park's Indian Rasoi, Jaspal Rawat, said the popular eatery is "not confirmed but still thinking about it".
"We're interested in it, [but] we'll just see how it goes," Mr Rawat said.
John Spanos, the owner of New Oceanic Take Away, said if the development is confirmed and building gets underway this year as planned, he will "absolutely be interested", but added with the years of delays, nothing is definite.
Dom and Karen Ferraro, who own Dom's Pizza Parlour, have yet to make their minds up but say they are still considering the centre as a good option.
"I'd love to go there but I need to consider my business," Mr Ferraro said, adding he is "still deciding".
Residents of Wagga's rapidly growing northern suburbs have waited for years for the shopping complex to begin construction on the corner of Avocet Drive and Rainbow Drive, but financial roadblocks have seen delay after delay.
Mr Webster and Mr Tait said they are confident funding will be secured in a coming weeks and that construction will begin mid-year.
"We're very confident at this stage, compared to the position we've been in the past," Mr Tait said.
Deborah and Peter Bell have been residents of Boorooma for over 30 years and are delighted at the prospect of having Wagga-grown businesses in the centre.
"I think it's great that we're going to get local businesses," Mrs Bell said.
"My thoughts would be better to have smaller [businesses] than bigger," Mr Bell said.
"I'd rather an IGA or a Foodworks over a Woolies or Coles and I think other [locals] would have a similar feeling."
While Mr Webster said years of delays mean he won't be excited until the funding is signed, sealed, and delivered, he is tentatively optimistic about finally bringing Estella and Booroma residents their long-awaited local centre.
"We owe it to the people of Estella, we couldn't throw in the towel," he said.
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