February 01, 2012WHITEFIELD — Representatives from Dollar General, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., have notified the Planning Board that they plan to visit at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14 for a second informational session on a proposal to build a 9,100-square-foot retail store on an already subdivided 1.82-acre parcel with 313 feet of frontage on the west side of Lancaster Road (Route 3), across from NAPA and Stiles Fuel.
Matt Casey of the Zaremba Development Group of Cleveland, Ohio, and attorney Ray D'Amante of D'Amante Couser Pellerin & Associates, P.A., of Concord came before the Board on Dec. 14.
Dollar General proposes to build a company-owned store that "would be similar to a Walgreen's and a Rite Aid, offering pre-packaged foods, cosmetics, paper products, and so forth, but without a pharmacy," according to the minutes written by chairman Ed Betz. Dollar General carries approximately 10,000 core products, according to the fact-book that Casey left on file in the town office.
The company expects to spend about $1 million on the land, building, and parking lot, located a half-mile north of Prospect Street in a flat 30 m.p.h. stretch of the two-lane highway.
With revenues of $13 billion a year, Dollar General (www.dollargeneral.com) operates more than 9,300 stores in 35 states and is looking to expand in rural areas. It became a Fortune 500 company in 1999 and opened its 9,000th store in 2010.
Typically its stores are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and employ some 10 to 15 full- and part-time employees, including managers, depending on the time of year. On average, customers stay less than 20 minutes in the store, which is not considered a "destination." The store would offer 7,200-sq.ft. of actual sale space with staging and large deliveries at the store's rear. Lighting would be shielded and light would go out 30 minutes after closing.
Although a preliminary drawing of the store indicates some 45 parking spaces, this number could be reduced to about 25 spaces in conformity with the town's Development Guide.
Betz and Board members — selectman Mark Lukfin, Everett Kennedy, Scott Burns, Frank Lombardi, and Rep. John Tholl — walked the developer though the town's Absolute Criteria and the Commercial Development Point Chart.
Dollar General's representatives asked about the status of new municipal sewage connections. Betz explained that because the sewer system is at 80 percent of design capacity, the town is under an administrative order to retain the services of a professional engineer to develop an upgraded, higher capacity wastewater treatment facility (WWTF). The report has been submitted to the state Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) for their review, and all new sewer hookups must be approved by NHDES. The American Legion recently gained approval to tie into the town's system. The store would only have a sink and toilet, and possibly a wash-down slop sink.