Firehouse Subs and Chipotle Mexican Grill are preparing to open in Goldsboro as the new shopping center takes shape near the corner of Berkeley Boulevard and Cashwell Drive.

Firehouse Subs, known for its public safety decor and sub sandwiches, will open for business Saturday, said John Best, franchise owner.

"We're excited to be in Goldsboro, and we're excited about the feedback we're getting from the community," Best said. "I'm super excited about opening in Goldsboro because I'm from Goldsboro."

Firehouse Subs has been accepting applications onsite recently and will continue until the business is fully staffed.

"We have hired 10 people who have already started training in our Greenville store," said Best, franchise owner of Firehouse Subs locations in Greenville and New Bern.

Final city inspections should be finished soon, with Chipotle Mexican Grill planning to open in two weeks.

"The Goldsboro Chipotle is slated to open April 21," said Robin Zimmerman, spokesperson for Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The restaurants, which will operate side-by-side in the new shopping center, at 501 N. Berkeley Blvd., will operate on similar seven-day schedules. Firehouse Subs will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Chipotle will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The 18,387-square-foot shopping center also includes several other businesses, most which are new in the city.

Mattress Firm, centered in the building's largest 5,000-square-foot tenant space, was the first to open in late December. The Vitamin Shoppe opened in mid-March, and SportClips followed with its opening more than a week ago.

Work is still underway inside Kay Jewelers, with company plans to move the existing Berkeley Mall store to the new shopping center, a corporate official confirmed in December. The store will have its final city inspection, prior to opening, within 30 days, said Allen Anderson Jr., Goldsboro chief building inspector.

The shopping center is nearly full, with two remaining tenant spaces available for lease. City staff have received inquiries from a tropical smoothie business and chicken-wing restaurant, but no site or upfit plans have been submitted.

Jay Hagerman, leasing agent with The Providence Group, said the possibility of a chicken-wing restaurant fell through due to incompatible equipment space needs.

The property on North Berkeley Boulevard is being developed by the Syracuse, N.Y.-based Hart-Lyman Cos., as Point Five Goldsboro, a North Carolina limited liability company.

Construction of the shopping center, which started in 2016, came after an Exxon gas station and car lot were removed.

The project also involved the removal of nearly half of the former Tractor Supply building, on Cashwell Drive, to free up space for additional parking.

The former 12,000-square-foot Tractor Supply property is being marketed for lease by owner Charles Norwood, with the Crawford-Norwood Realty Co.