Dollar General back on table

MILFORD – A proposal for a Dollar General store similar to a one offered four years ago is before the planning board.

Engineers from Lisciotti Development Corp. recently reviewed a conceptual plan for a 9,300-square-foot discount retail store at 30 Wilton Road, diagonally across from the Pine Valley Mill apartments.

“We are finally ready to move forward,” said Mathew Bombaci of Bohler Engineering, who went over parking, design and other aspects of the building’s

appearance.

In 2014, the board had qualms about the design. During the Nov. 27 meeting, board member Janet Langdell asked engineers for examples of New England architecture and noted that a classic mill building is nearby.

The property is in the town’s West Elm Gateway district, with design standards that call for parking lots to be inconspicuous and for development to be “pedestrian-oriented whenever possible,” Milford Community Development Director Lincoln Daley said.

He suggested they consider locating parking to the rear or side of the building, but Bombaci said there are constraints caused by the need for 65-foot delivery trucks to pull in and turn around. The store can’t make use of the property in the rear, near the river, because of the railroad right of way.

Only 27 parking spaces are part of the plan, because, Bombaci said, the stores are not “tremendous traffic generators.”

Daley said the board will likely review a site plan proposal in January.

Wilton has no retail food or drug stores. The nearest store is Market Basket supermarket, 10 minutes from downtown.

Dollar General spokesperson Angela Petkovic said the company is “reviewing the opportunity to add a new store in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet,” and anticipate a final decision by summer 2019.

When choosing a store location, she said, the company looks for a spot generally within a three-to-five-mile radius, or 10-minute drive, and they take demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into

consideration.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2019 the Dollar General Corp. is looking to expand into rural and urban areas that lack grocery store options and some stores will offer more food choices, including fresh produce.

Dollar General operated 15,227 stores in 44 states as of Nov. 2 and plans to open 975 new stores next year and relocate and remodel others. In New Hampshire, there are about the 28 stores. A Dollar General competitor, Dollar Tree, is in Milford’s Granite Town Plaza.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.

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