By the end of the year there won't be a Church Street Mall in Parramatta.
The space is undergoing a $4 million transformation that will include a stage, cafes, kiosks and an illuminated fountain.
While it's out with much of the old, the historical name for the thoroughfare, Centenary Square, will be reinstated.
The clearing works officially started on Wednesday. Parramatta's lord mayor John Chedid was there with shovel in hand to remove the first paver in the amphitheatre.
"Centenary Square is the heart of Parramatta — and the time for talk is over. This project is about building a safer, forward looking and vibrant city," Mr Chedid said.
"Centenary Square will be a place where people can stop, linger and enjoy this great city."
The space hasn't been upgraded since the 1980s and the redevelopment is part of Parramatta Council's plan to reactivate areas in the city centre.
Church Street Mall has been criticised as attracting drug users, gangs and violence.
The works aim to make the space safer and more accessible for workers, visitors and residents.
Outdoor dining areas, more seating and shade, water play for children and music are set to be delivered as part of the upgrade.
There's also expected to be more entertainment, events and performances and special, coloured lighting in the night.
Centenary Square will make its debut by the end of the year.
The annual Winterlight Festival and the weekly farmers markets won't be disrupted by the upgrade.