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Store owners prepare for Northeast Publix expansion

(ran Beach edition)

A few Northeast Shopping Center businesses continue to contemplate their futures as the deadline approaches for them to make way for a Publix Super Markets expansion.

"We're still looking like crazy" for a new shop, said Carl Troup, who has had the Pyramid Barber Shop at Northeast for 29 years.

Few businesses remain in the shopping center's eastern wing, but those remaining have been told to leave by March 31.

Troup said he has asked for a 30-day extension. Meanwhile, he is asking customers to stop by and leave their phone numbers so they can be notified when a new shop is located.

Publix plans to build a 51,000-square-foot store in the eastern wing. It would be nearly 50 percent larger than the current Publix at 200 37th Ave. N, which would remain open during the new store's construction.

A starting date has not been announced, but Publix spokeswoman Jennifer Bush said construction will begin as soon as possible after the March 31 deadline.

"Everything is still moving forward," Bush said. "Once (the businesses) have vacated, we'll begin the demolition work. But we don't have a date or a time frame yet."

Construction of a new market usually takes nine to 11 months, Publix officials say.

Businesses west of the current store all are remaining open.

But it has been a long, uncertain process for those on the east side. Many moved or closed when it became apparent change was coming to the shopping center, which opened in 1959. (See accompanying list.)

"It was a sad moment in our lives when that decision had to be made," said David Fanning, who had owned Doug's Northeast Ice Cream Parlor since 1975. "We hated to see it go. But life goes on."

Other businesses relocated or, like Troup, plan to do so.

Stan Fox, the House of Pipes owner, is bound for 2525 Dr. M.

L. King (Ninth) Street N. He said he plans to reopen there on April 2.

Hair stylists Tina Crisp and Sandra Horne, who worked in A Crisp Cut-N-Curl, now work at the Excalibur Styling Salon, 3183 Fourth Street N.

The owners of two other businesses at the tip of the eastern wing have not announced their plans.

HD Cafeteria owner Paul Edgar said he has a lease with Publix until 2001. He could not be reached last week for comment on its status.

And Ace Hardware owner Dave McDonnell said the store will move within view of its current site, but said he cannot announce anything more specific yet.