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New entrance, lights, parking spaces, gas station coming soon in Tops plaza

Last week construction crews created a new entrance, front right, to the Tops plaza parking lot off Route 20. The current entrance, near the Tops sign at left, will close this week. The old Kimberly’s Ice Cream building, at left, will soon be razed and a new Tops gas station built in its place.

Last week construction crews created a new entrance, front right, to the Tops plaza parking lot off Route 20. The current entrance, near the Tops sign at left, will close this week. The old Kimberly’s Ice Cream building, at left, will soon be razed and a new Tops gas station built in its place. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— A new parking lot entrance to Tops plaza off Route 20 is scheduled to open this week, and the current entrance will be closed as part of the overall parking lot redesign that has been ongoing for the past few weeks. In addition to the new entrance, the lot will get new light posts, a redesign of all the parking spaces and a new Tops gas station at the former location of the Kimberly’s ice cream building.

The changes will be coming quickly over the next few weeks, with the new gas station expecting to be open by July 15, said David Muraco, of Empire Management Company, who owns the plaza.

“It’s part of the whole site plan renovation to accommodate Tops and their fuel station,” Muraco said of the parking lot redesign. “It’s been a much-needed renovation of that lot. We’ve realigned; it’s better for the parking flow.”

Tops applied for permission to install a gas station with two islands with gas pumps at the former Kimberly’s location in Feb. 2012. Since then, in addition to the gas station, a Family Dollar was supposed to go into the plaza but the deal eventually fell through. A new Sears Hometown store opened next to Tops last summer. The space next to Sears, currently vacant, is now under construction for the installation of a Zoom Tan this summer, Muraco said. Zoom Tan is a national chain that offers UV tanning.

“They said they’d be open in 30 to 60 days. Now there’s only one vacancy left [in the plaza] next to the liquor store,” Muraco said.

Construction crews started remaking the Tops plaza parking lot in early April, beginning with removing the parking islands. Last week crews created a new lot entrance off Route 20, perpendicular to the clock tower. That entrance is expected to open this week, when the current entrance will close to be remade as a closed-off part of the lot. Another entrance and exit to the lot will be made as part of the Tops gas station, Muraco said.

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