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The much-anticipated Navy Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency complex opens Friday at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The 185,000-square-foot, $24.8 million complex includes a commissary shopping area about twice as large as the facility it's replacing, and a consolidated exchange featuring the main store, Sight & Sound, video mart and home center under the same roof.
The much-anticipated Navy Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency complex opens Friday at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The 185,000-square-foot, $24.8 million complex includes a commissary shopping area about twice as large as the facility it's replacing, and a consolidated exchange featuring the main store, Sight & Sound, video mart and home center under the same roof. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)
The much-anticipated Navy Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency complex opens Friday at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The 185,000-square-foot, $24.8 million complex includes a commissary shopping area about twice as large as the facility it's replacing, and a consolidated exchange featuring the main store, Sight & Sound, video mart and home center under the same roof.
The much-anticipated Navy Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency complex opens Friday at Naval Station Rota, Spain. The 185,000-square-foot, $24.8 million complex includes a commissary shopping area about twice as large as the facility it's replacing, and a consolidated exchange featuring the main store, Sight & Sound, video mart and home center under the same roof. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)
Amid boxes still to be unpacked or put away, officials already have decked out the new Navy Exchange with holiday decor.
Amid boxes still to be unpacked or put away, officials already have decked out the new Navy Exchange with holiday decor. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

Convenience is paramount for Petty Officer 2nd Class Leslie Hubbell — and life for the sailor based at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is about to get easier.

On Friday, what once seemed like a myth, will become reality when officials greet shoppers to the new $24.8 million combined Navy Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency complex. The new complex includes a commissary shopping area about twice as large as the current facility and a consolidated exchange — all under the same roof.

Though Hubbell speaks Spanish and has no difficulty discerning what’s what at Spanish stores, she prefers the convenience of shopping on base.

“I like the way everything is centrally located and one-stop shopping,” said Hubbell, the leading petty officer for the executive administration department at Rota.

The commissary area expands from the current 13,185 square feet to 22,282 square feet. It will have larger spaces for display and sale items, a larger freezer section, an expanded produce area and a bigger deli area.

The new 135,000-square-foot Navy Exchange will consolidate the exchange, Sight & Sound, video mart and home center, an upgrade from the separate locations.

The complex will open right after Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, slated for 9:15 a.m. Commissary shoppers will have a chance to fill out an entry form to win a Mini Cooper, which will be given away in December, and a chance at other prizes such as bicycles, grills and a flat-sceen television, said spokeswoman Gerri Young.

“This new facility will be a huge improvement for our community,” said the base commander, Capt. Earl Hampton Jr. “You can park your car once, and go home with everything you might need in one trip.”

And that’s just the lure for Rena Wollmann, who has been stationed at the base for about two years with her sailor husband.

“Before, everything was so spread out. You’d have to go to four or five buildings to do your shopping, driving from one to another. It’ll be nice to have everything all central,” said the civilian administrative assistant.

Base shopping is important for Wollmann, who finds it difficult to shop on the economy because she doesn’t speak the language.

“Most of my [grocery] shopping is done at the commissary, [because] I’m used to the American brands, versus trying to figure out the Spanish. I know what I’m looking for in the commissary.”

The complex also will include a Subway sandwich shop, a barber and beauty shop, laundry and dry-cleaning service and a photo studio.

NEX officials confirmed earlier rumors late Wednesday that a Starbucks shop is a part of the new complex.

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