An additional Dollar General store is in the works for Wilmington.
The store would be about 9,100 square feet on half of a 3-acre site at 3606 Carolina Beach Road.
As of Friday, the Tennessee-based company had 760 stores in North Carolina -- nine open in New Hanover County, 13 in Brunswick County and six in Pender County, said Dollar General spokeswoman Crystal Ghassemi. The publicly traded (NYSE: DG) firm's CEO is Wilmington native and Hoggard High School graduate Todd Vasos.
The Carolina Beach Road store is one of two projects Dollar General has in due diligence phases in New Hanover County, Ghassemi said. The other would be built at 406 Dawson St.
and is being planned by the same North Carolina-based development firm, Par 5 Development LLC, as the Carolina Beach Road proposal.
The Wilmington City Council approved 6-1 on Oct. 3 a conditional district rezoning of the Carolina Beach Road site, modifying an existing Community Business (Conditional District) designation to allow for the one-story Dollar General. The staff report on the proposal said it's "consistent with the recommendations of the Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan and aligns well with many policies."
Councilman Kevin O'Grady voted against the measure, after referencing the impact of future development on the other half of the site.
"I have to say I’m really unenthusiastic," O'Grady said before the vote Oct. 3 on the rezoning. "This is a strip mall development, not what I thought our Comprehensive Plan was going to bring us."
The council then voted unanimously to waive the second reading. Meanwhile, the plans for a store at 406 Dawson St. are still under review by the city, according to the city's project tracking website.
"Due diligence" for Dollar General means the phase in which the company has identified a location where company officials are interested in adding a store but haven't committed to moving forward with a project quite yet, Ghassemi said. Final decisions by Dollar General on the Dawson Street store and a proposed store in Supply in Brunswick County are scheduled for January, while a decision on the Carolina Beach Road store is scheduled for summer 2018.
A number of factors drive where Dollar General seeks to open new stores, she said.
"We look at making sure that we're putting our store where it's going to be the most convenient to our customer base. Meeting our customers' needs is going to be a top priority when choosing a store location," Ghassemi said.
The Carolina Beach Road store would be an additional new location rather than relocating the existing Dollar General at 2416 Carolina Beach Road, Ghassemi said.
A new Dollar General store has also been under construction in the town of Carolina Beach, at 1136 N. Lake Park Blvd., and a grand opening celebration is scheduled for Nov. 4.
"We have extensive data that shows our customers typically come to us within a 3- to 5-mile radius and no more than a 10-minute drive," Ghassemi said.