The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 30, 2013

West Side Dollar General gets jump on downtown location

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT —  In the race to be the first to erect a new Dollar General store, a location on the city’s West Side has the early lead.

Heavy equipment has already begun clear space for a store at the northeast corner of West Main (Route 20) and Gore roads, and a garage on the site has been flattened. Officials plan to have their grand opening sometime in August, said Deanna Gates, Conneaut’s planning/zoning manager.

Still in the gate is a second Dollar General that will rise in downtown Conneaut in the area of State, Harbor and Washington streets. Developers are still creating a legal description for that project, but expect to obtain municipal demolition permits very soon, Gates said.

“(Developers) hope to pull their permits in May,” she said.

A handful of buildings will be razed to make room for the store.

The stores are being built by two different developers. The State Street location is a Zaremba Group project, while the West Main/Gore store is being spearheaded by GBT Realty of Tennessee. Last year, GBT tried to obtain a zoning permit to put a store at West Main and Parrish roads, but were denied by a majority of City Council members, who said the location wasn’t suitable. Many neighbors objected to the proposed project, taking note of objections from neighbors.

Both stores will be about 9,100 square feet in size, officials have said. The downtown store will have a special facade that will complement the architecture of surrounding buildings.

The downtown location is just around the corner from a Dollar General that has operated in a storefront at Main and Washington streets. Developers have said they believe Conneaut can support two Dollar General stores.