A new library and adult learning centre will open in two months as part of a £60m regeneration project in Dorset.
West Dorset District Council's new £9.7m offices have already opened at the site on Charles Street, Dorchester.
The council agreed to fund preparatory work for the scheme's retail phase in October last year.
It includes relocating a church from Acland Road to Trinity Street. The authority said the development would create about 600 new jobs.
There had been concerns that the plans for phase two, which were approved in 2010, were "not financially viable".
Revised proposals include 24 flats in place of a hotel, as well as 23 shops and affordable homes.
The retail development is also expected to include a new 305 space car park, with plans being put in place for 179 spaces elsewhere in the town.
In a statement developer Simons said it was in "ongoing discussions with several major retailers" looking to take up space in the development.