The Dollar General store currently under construction at the intersection of 10th Street Boulevard NW and 12th Avenue NW will not have the look many people associate with the stores.
The new store, which will be roughly 9,000 square feet in size, will not have neon signs or a sign atop a pole, Planning Director Brian Frazier said. There will be a monument-style sign on 10th Street Boulevard.
Building materials for the discount store will include stone, brick and imitation wood. The store will be located roughly 45 feet from 12th Avenue and 150 feet from 10th Street Boulevard.
Developers will plant 112 shrubs and 16 street trees, Frazier said. He said the store will be situated such that the best view of the store will be from 10th Street Boulevard NW — where the storefront will face — or from the air.
“They’ve gone above and beyond what was required to by minimum,” Frazier said. He said the city rejected some initial appearance plans.
The location of the store in the neighborhood has prompted some controversy. A Change.org petition opposing the store garnered more than 360 signatures.
Chris Simmons, who lives near the store location, and real estate agents Meredith Carswell and Robin Creel spoke to the Hickory City Council on Jan. 5 asking if the impact of the store could be mitigated.
The three also met with Frazier on Monday to discuss the store plans in greater detail.
Creel said he came away from the meeting feeling better than he had before about the efforts to properly incorporate the store.
“I think that the city has done what they can to integrate it as much into the neighborhood as was allowed by law,” Creel said.
Carswell said she felt the landscaping will improve the appearance and that more landscaping could be done on the side facing 12th Avenue.
Simmons said the city took positive steps toward mitigation. He also said there are encouraging signs that the developers may be willing to take part in a dialogue.
“I think they have done a lot and I think that more could be done,” Simmons said, pointing to such issues as landscaping, steps to improve traffic flow and healthier food options at the store.
Kevin Griffin is the city of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.