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Market Place expansion will complete Phase I of Gateway

The expansion of The Market Place in the Gateway Plaza on U.S. Highway 80 will complete Phase I of that project, and developer and plaza owner Jeff Beck is ready to begin Phase II.

“That will put us at 100-percent occupancy,” Beck said of the grocery store expansion that will fill the lone vacancy in the facility. “We’re going to increase the size by 35 percent. We’re adding about 9,000 square feet. We’re putting a full bakery and deli in there, and we’re going to have the ability to have seafood. In the deli, we’re going to have a hot bar and hot plate lunches, with rotisserie chicken and smoked beef.

“We’re also going to expand the shelving and have an expanded frozen section. We’re probably going have twice as much frozen foods as we have. We’re just going to have a ton more room.”

Expansion began in October into the area next to The Market Place. Beck said he hoped that section would be open by the first week of February.

“It’s been rather extensive,” Beck said. “We’ve opened up the area that used to be the dollar store. We’ve opened it up to where, when we get through, you’re going to flow out of the ‘old’ store and into the ‘new’ store.”

Beck plans on having a “grand re-opening” of the store when the expansion is complete.

Phase II involves making improvements to the property that the plaza is on, including improving the parking lot.

“What we’re planning on doing is changing the entrance to the front,” Beck said. “We want to make it more easily accessible for the traffic to go in and out. We’re thinking about doing two or three different things. I’m talking with some people about bringing some things to Demopolis that aren’t here right now, like maybe a 24-hour eating place — just some different things that Demopolis doesn’t have.”

Gateway Plaza got its rebirth on June 5 when Marvin’s Building Materials and Home Centers opened its new location there, joining The Market Place, which had been the only business in the plaza for a long time. Main Moon Chinese restaurant also opened in the new plaza, moving from its former location in the plaza parking lot, and Dirt Cheap came in on Oct. 15.