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Monday, April 20, 2015

Council Approves "New Retail Store" Plan

Fairhope, Alabama. (fairhopetimes@att.net)

'SMALL BOX' CHAINS PROLIFERATING

Dollar General relocating?
The city council unanimously gave conditional approval to a site plan for what documents refer to as a "new retail store" -- to be built on  Morphy Ave., east of the Rite Aid drugstore.

The applicant's intent is to re-locate the existing Dollar General from the nearby Baldwin Square Shopping Center, according to Mayor Kant; but some other store may locate there if plans change.

They requested it not to be officially identified, because of possible issues with their current lease.

The B-2 zoned property is owned by J. Steven Mobley of Birmingham, Al; the Broadway Group is the developer.

(The site once held the old homestead of one of the city's founding families, the Browns who operated a sawmill nearby: It was demolished about two years ago.) 


STORE DESIGNS QUESTIONED
 Morphy Ave. site

Originally proposed with only a brick front facade and standard sheet-metal elsewhere, the Planning Commission required more attractive "four-sided" architecture be used instead: brick on all sides.

The landscaping plan saves some exiting  oaks and  cedar tree on the corner be saved, and many new trees/shrubs installed around the site's perimeter.

Their new buildings' generic, metal-box designs limit construction costs ("overhead")  -- but have been criticized for their plain appearance.

new CR32 store
There are currently over 11,800 stores nationwide, 629 in Alabama alone, including one that just opened on CR 32 across from the Newton School -- and on U.S. 98 in the Barnwell community.

The Tennessee-based company plans to open 720 new stores and relocate or remodel 875 in 2015. 

Additional stores may be planned for the Fairhope area as well.



Approved Morphy Ave. design
DRAINAGE, LANDSCAPE PLANS NOT FINALIZED

The council stipulated that final details of drainage and landscaping must be worked out to the satisfaction of city planners, engineer and horticulturist -- before building permits are issued.

The landscaping plan saves some existing  trees, and requires many new trees/shrubs to be installed around the site's perimeter. 

Tree preservation/protection issues concerning some existing oaks and cedars are still to be resolved.


THREAT TO LOCAL BUSINESSES?
Morphy Ave. site

According to national media reports, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar chain stores proliferated after the 'Great Recession' began in 2008; and continues as alternatives to their 'big box' cousins that are fewer in number and usually more distant.

Like the bigger chains, they have been criticized for promoting rural sprawl, especially in the northeastern and northwestern parts of the country -- and for damaging local independent and regional businesses (like Fred's, Greers grocery, etc.).

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landscaping/drainage plan
























2 comments:

Anonymous said...

(X) (litttle box stores) = (1) big box ...

Anonymous said...

what a waste of a good piece of property!