Update 14 November 2008: the fitout must be proceeding well as a new sign has appeared in the window saying that the supermarket will open on 29 November.
The Bullring latin music venue on Johnston St closed in 2004 and work has slowly progressed. Behind the preserved facade the building has been demolished and replaced with a new apartment complex that will feature a Coles supermarket on the ground floor.
Once Fitzroy only had one Safeway supermarket and two others within walking distance (another Safeway at Carlton and Piedimonte’s IGA in North Fitzroy). By the end of 2008 it will have three, as the Safeway on Smith St will have been given competition from the mini IGA on Brunswick St that opened earlier in 2008 and the new Coles on Johnston St. Given that Fitzroy has one of the highest density populations in Australia, it is surprising that it has had such limited shopping choices in recent years. I’m glad that this is about to change.
The minutes of the 20 May 2008 Yarra City Council meeting (2.7mb PDF) note that a petition has been received from proprietors and residents of Argyle St requesting that the Council close Argyle St on the east side of Fitzroy St once the Bullring building is completed. This appears to be designed to stop the street becoming busy with through traffic. It will be interesting to see whether the Council approves this and how the supermarket will change traffic flows throughout Fitzroy.