Dollar General, the nation’s largest small-box discount retailer, is scheduled in December to open a store on the 2000 block of Nevada City Highway in Grass Valley, according to spokesman Dan MacDonald.
“I think people are going to love the store,” MacDonald said. “We have a lot of merchandise at great prices and it’s not a super center, it’s a very small footprint, so people can get in and out in 10 minutes.”
The store is currently being built on a parcel of land across from the city’s Fowler Center, and will have more than 7,000 square feet of retail space.
TCP Architects Inc. project manager Kirk Miller has been in charge of preparing the Dollar General project designs and plans for the city to approve, and says the building will be completed by mid-October.
“It’s going to be a good addition to the town,” Miller said. “We’re trying to fit it in with the local style (of) architecture, and to make sure it fits in with the community.”
Miller said they got authorization from the city to work on the project in June 2013, submitting design and architecture plans for approval. In August of last year, Miller said the project was given final approval from the city and planning commission, and documents for the project were finalized.
Miller said construction on the store began in late May, and that Embree Asset Group Inc., a national development and construction management group out of Texas, took the project’s bid.
“Dollar General has what is called a prototype, which is basically their standard cookie-cutter buildings,” Miller said.
“That wouldn’t really fly with the planning commission, so they wanted some heavy modifications which resulted with what you’re going to see, sort of this mining theme with the really large pronounced roof and sort of the top monitor, which is basically a second roof on top of the initial roof.”
MacDonald said the store on Nevada City Highway will be a traditional Dollar General, providing a wide assortment of frozen and refrigerated grocery items, beer, wine, cleaning and beauty supplies, and items that people use and replenish the most.
“We think of ourselves as sort of your neighborhood general store,” MacDonald said. “The bulk of what we sell is consumable, and we’re a multi-priced retailer so everything is not a dollar or less. About 25 percent of what we sell is a dollar or less, but the vast majority of what we sell is multi-priced.”
Several dollar stores in the county have been constructed in Nevada County in recent years, including a Dollar Tree on Freeman Lane in Grass Valley, and a Dollar Store on Sutton Way.
While these stores bring a wider price and product selection for local consumers, smaller local businesses say they are being affected.
Joyce Stogner, owner of Party Time, a local party supply store located in the Fowler Center, says she will be closing her business after three years. One of the reasons is the Dollar General that will be built across the way.
“It’s a cheap variety store,” Stogner said. “And I’m already losing from the other dollar stores. I decided that I’m not going to make it. I can’t expand and I don’t have the money to do it, the community is not going to support me on it, and there’s just nothing else I can do.”
According to Grass Valley Community Development Director Tom Last, the city does not have a say on what types of businesses can and cannot be built in Grass Valley.
All property in the city is individually zoned for some type of use or activity that includes facilities for restaurants, manufacturing, and general retail businesses, he said.
The owners of the property decide what type of business they want to bring into the city, and as long as that business fits into the type of use or activity the property is zoned for, the city has no say.
“If the zoning district allows for that type of use, we don’t regulate the type of tenant that’s going to be there,” Last said.
“We can’t go, ‘We don’t allow this retail use but allow this retail use.’ Our codes aren’t set up that way.”
MacDonald says that Dollar General is also looking into bringing another store to Rough and Ready Highway, but says the corporation is still in its due diligence phase.
“We’re still working through approvals and studying the site, and doing all the front-end things to lay the groundwork to potentially proceed on that store, but it doesn’t look like we’re there yet,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald said that while the Grass Valley Dollar General will officially open in early December, the store plans to hold soft openings in mid- to late November.
To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email email@example.com or call 530-477- 4236.
“We have a lot of merchandise at great prices and it’s not a super center, it’s a very small footprint, so people can get in and out in 10 minutes.”
Dollar General spokesman