SCOTTVILLE — A new Dollar General Market is coming to Scottville, right across the street from the current Dollar General store.
Scottville’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday approved a zoning variance request from AR Engineering, a developing firm working with the retail company. The developers were seeking a setback variance for the future store, slated for the former Healy building at 209 S. Main St.
Peter Oleszczuk and Jason Raleigh from AR spoke to the ZBA — which consists of all city commissioners — after Monday’s regular meeting of the city commission at City Hall.
Oleszczuk and Raleigh stated that they were seeking permission for a 15-foot setback from the lot line on the side of the property that faces Second Street. The request was for a variance from the 25-foot minimum required by city ordinance.
Fifteen feet is actually a greater setback than what the current building boasts. The existing 209 S. Main St. building, owned by Roy and Linda Holden, goes right up to the lot line, but that structure will be demolished to make room for the new market.
So why is there a need for a new Dollar General?
That’s a question Commissioner Rob Alway asked the developers.
“What’s the difference between this new Dollar General and the one down the street?” Alway asked.
“The big difference is, really, the expansion of fresh produce, along with the fact that … everything is larger and the product line is expanding,” Oleszczuk said.
He said it’s essentially about brand growth for Dollar General, which wants to offer more than what its current building on North Main Street can accommodate.
“Expanded produce, food, milk, eggs — everything, and then just expanded home products across the board,” Oleszczuk said. “And a much more open floor plan.”
He added, “It’s a great location.”
A similar Dollar General is being built north of North Muskegon on Whitehall Road, Oleszczuk said, adding that the Muskegon project is also the result of a relocation from a nearby store in an attempt to fill a “gap in services provided.”
Oleszczuk said he couldn’t speak to Dollar General’s plans for the vacant Scottville store once the new, 12,640-foot building is erected, but he expects the existing building “will be available for purchase or lease in the future.”
AR Engineering plans to lease the new space to the business once it’s up and running.
Oleszczuk told Mayor Marcy Spencer that he hopes the construction process can start this year, but there’s much to be done before that can happen.
“I think everybody knows there’s a little bit of environmental work that needs to be done, so we’re going through that process,” Oleszczuk said.
He added that he’s been in contact with Fishbeck, the brownfield consulting firm that worked with Scottville on setting up its brownfield redevelopment authority last year.
“We’re in the process of going through that, in regards to either tiff, grants — whatever might be available — because there’s an excessive amount of work that’s required,” he said. “A lot of the development hinges on the success of those opportunities.”
Oleszczuk said he’s optimistic about funding opportunities, as the former Healy building was “kind of earmarked as the poster child as to why the (brownfield) authority was put in place in the city,” he said.
Oleszczuk said once the search for grants and brownfield funding is finished, work should start quickly, and the expected timeline of the build itself would be about four months.
“Time is usually of the essence with these opportunities,” Oleszczuk said.