YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — If you’re thinking about gassing up your car on Yokota’s east side, wait a few months — the gas station is closed and fenced off.

That’s because the Army and Air Force Exchange Service has started building a new, larger shoppette next to the gas station to replace the store in the strip mall across from the natatorium.

Construction is expected to be completed for a scheduled opening of business in late July, said Larry Salgado, the Yokota AAFES general manager.

In addition to replacing the old shoppette, Salgado said the new facility would also house the east side’s barbershop, beauty salon, dry cleaners, alteration shop and a Subway sandwich counter.

“What’s great about this new facility is that it is right next to the gas station, making it a one-stop shop for east-side residents,” he said.

Salgado also said the gas pumps will be be open 24 hours a day.

The new facility will have more than 6,000 square feet of space, about 2,500 more than the current shoppette, Salgado said.

One bonus to the size increase, he said, is that the store will have a larger selection of products and a full-size “Snack Avenue” similar to those found in other Yokota shoppettes.

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