THE foundations have been laid for a Masters Home Improvement Centre to open at North St Marys early next year.
Work on the Forrester Road site started within days of finalising the sale of the land from St Marys Rugby League Club a fortnight ago.
Around 185 jobs will be created during construction. When the store opens in the first half of 2014, 180 full-time positions should be available, a Woolworths spokeswoman said.
The Star reported on the proposal in 2011 and again in March last year when Penrith Council deferred the development because of design concerns.
"We worked with the council and received DA approval in July 2012," the Woolworths spokeswoman said.
"Masters stores offer customers a unique shopping experience. Each store stocks 40,000 product lines — white goods, DIY kitchens, flooring and trade."
St Marys Rugby League Club chief executive Rod Desborough said proceeds from the land sale meant it could plan a fitness and well being centre.
"We're finalising the development application which will be ready by mid year," Mr Desborough said.
"We hope to start building by February next year. We think there's a real need that will cover the whole age spectrum of the community"
He believes Masters is a perfect fit for the site.
"The land is zone as light industrial, so there weren't a lot of developers to whom the club could sell the land," Mr Desborough said.
"It will attract a lot of people. Population is growing, from Ropes Crossing to Penrith and out to Riverstone."
The club also wants to build a three-storey 80-room motel.
"We host 200 games and events at St Marys Leagues Stadium every year," Mr Desborough said.
"Visitors need someone to stay and there is no accommodation in St Marys.
"Penrith Panthers and Rooty Hill RSL have shown it can work."