BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been quite a year for the city of Biddeford; in November, Hostess announced it was going out of business, taking nearly 400 jobs out of Biddeford, and the city announced its plans to buy MERC and close it down, losing another 80 jobs.

But in the midst of tough news, city officials say, comes hope. Market Basket has announced plans to open a supermarket in the old Lowe's building on Rt. 111, bringing about 500 jobs with it.

Also, thanks to a contest run by the non-profit, Heart of Biddeford, two small business were able to open their doors on Main Street and a third will open in about a month.

Mayor Alan Casavant says with plans to close Maine Energy Recovery Company, they've already gotten calls from big companies looking to invest in that space. He says Biddeford is finally starting to kick its image of being a rundown mill town.

MERC will cease all operations at midnight Monday, then Casella Waste will dismantle the plant and clean up the riverfront property.

Market Basket plans to open in early fall.

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