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Planners OK variances for Dollar General store in SH


December 6, 2016

Dollar General, a nationwide chain of discount variety stores, is planning to open a store in Sweet Home in late summer.

The Sweet Home Planning Commission approved two variances Monday night allowing plans to move forward.

Dollar General will build the store at 1937 Main St., across from McDonald’s and Bi-Mart, the former location Rons Radiator Shop, which has been vacant since it burned in 2007. The new building will be 9,100 square feet, according to plans.

Typically, the store would have four employees on site, including a manager.

“We would like to break ground no later than April,” Mike Stults, development manager with Cross Development, told the commission. The construction would take 120 days, so he anticipated opening a store no later than August. Cross Development represents Dollar General in developing the property.

Based on data from four studies of Dollar General parking lots, Cross Development requested a variance from the city’s requirement of 42 parking spaces for the business to require only 29 spaces. The commission also approved a variance from the 30-foot maximum driveway width to allow a 36-foot 2-inch driveway.

Voting yes were Ned Kilpatrick, Greg Stephens, Henry Wolthuis, Chairwoman Edie Wilcox, Eva Jurney and Anay Hausner. Lance Gatchell was absent.

The property stretches from Main Street to Long Street. The Dollar General store will face Main Street and use a portion of the property.

“I would like to reserve the back of the property for something we feel would be a great benefit for the city,” Stults said. Those plans will be revealed at a later time.

Dollar General sells basic household staples at low prices, Stults said.

Products range from shampoo, toys and cleaners to coffee, video games, electronics and batteries. Corporate informational materials describe it as the nation’s largest small-box retailer, opening in 1939 as J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale. Today the company operates more than 13,000 stores in 43 states.

“What they do is complement the community,” Stults said. “They don’t drive anybody out of business. They create a niche. Dollar General is very community oriented. They like to do stuff with libraries.”

The dollar General Literacy Foundation was founded in 1993 in honor Dollar General’s founder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate, with a third-grade education.


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