Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Susan McMillan firstname.lastname@example.org
RICHMOND — A Family Dollar store could soon join the town’s retail options.
A proposal for a store at 161 Main St., at the corner of Williams Street, will have its first vetting before the Planning Board at a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Family Dollar, based in North Carolina, operates a chain of more than 8,000 stores across the country. The stores sell food, clothing, household goods and health and beauty items, among other products.
When the developer for the project first approached the town several months ago, town officials asked them to consider a location near I-295, but they wanted to put the store in town, where people can reach it on foot, Code Enforcement Officer James Valley said.
The project fits within the zoning of the property, but Valley said town officials have been working with the engineer and developer on the look of the building, which would be 8,320 square feet.
“This is one of the biggest things people are going to see when they enter the town, so we don’t want it to be out of place,” Valley said.
Town officials are asking to limit the size of the store’s sign and to add design features to break up the wall of vinyl siding on the side of the building that would face traffic coming into town. The applicants are being cooperative, Valley said.
The applicant is Hunt Real Estate, a Tampa-based company that has developed several Family Dollar stores in other states. The company has a contract to buy the property from Dresden resident Robert Gleason.
The Department of Transportation has granted approval to build a driveway on Main Street, which is also state Route 197. In addition to town approval, the project needs a wetland permit from the Department of Environmental Protection. The project’s proposed timeline calls for construction to start in the early spring and finish by fall.
Family Dollar spokeswoman Bryn Winburn said until the company has a signed lease, she can’t release any information about the project.
Winburn said Family Dollar stores, most of which are similar in size to the one proposed in Richmond, typically employ eight to 10 people in a mix of part-time and full-time jobs, and the company tries to hire people from the local community.
Family Dollar plans to add 450-500 stores around the country this year. The company already has several stores in Maine, with the closest one to Richmond on Water Street in Gardiner.
The impact of the store could be significant for residents. Richmond has few stores, leaving many people to drive to Topsham or elsewhere to shop.Susan McMillan — email@example.comTwitter: @s_e_mcmillan