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    Bargain books up for grabs for a while

    A deep-discount book seller settles into Gateway Market Center for a short stay.

    By SHARON L. BOND
    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published December 9, 2001


    The large building that held Waccamaw's HomePlace at Gateway Market Center in St. Petersburg has a new tenant -- at least for a few months.

    The Book Market opened Friday at 7777 Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) St. N between Publix and Office Depot. It is a closeout bookstore, selling new books that have been on the market for six months or more, according to Terry Ross, assistant manager at the new store.

    "Most of the books are new, but sometimes we get used ones from libraries," Ross said. "Prices are marked down quite a lot."

    Book Market will be at Gateway only for a few months. The company, based in Knoxville, Tenn., picks a spot and opens from three to six months, marking retail prices on books down 50 to 80 percent, Ross said.

    "How long we will be here is something we don't know," Ross said, adding that the store will be open after Christmas. She worked for Book Market the previous two years when it opened in temporary spots, one across from Tyrone Square Mall and one near Tyrone Gardens in St. Petersburg.

    Two years ago, Gateway Market Center received a $20-million face lift, turning it from a rundown, nearly vacant strip shopping center into a so-called power shopping center with buildings in various clusters across the lot in north St. Petersburg.

    Waccamaw, a home furnishings store, was open less than a year at Gateway before its parent company announced in May that it was going out of business.

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