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Rogue River picked for Dollar General store

Dollar General, seeking to bolster its status as the nation's top discount retailer, is taking preliminary steps to build stores in Grants Pass, Cave Junction and Rogue River.

In recent weeks the company has filed paperwork with planning departments in all three cities as part of its stated goal of opening more than 700 new stores across the country this year in a battle for discount dominance with rival Dollar Tree.

The small-box retailer, which one Cave Junction official likened to a "mini Bi-Mart," earlier this month opened stores in Brookings and Winston, its first in Oregon. The company has about 12,000 stores nationwide, including more than 130 in California.

Two weeks ago, the company was given a "major zoning clearance" by the Cave Junction City Council, meaning its plans to build a store on the city's north side met zoning requirements. The store is planned for the southwest corner of the Redwood Highway and Hanby Lane.

"They projected they'd have it actually built and operational within the year," City Recorder Ryan Nolan said.

Last month, Dollar General representatives submitted a preapplication with the city of Grants Pass, in an effort to determine city requirements. The company is looking to build at the northwest corner of Redwood Avenue and Daisy Lane. They were in town two weeks ago, too, to meet with city planners.

"They're just getting their feelers out," Grants Pass associate planner Justin Gindlesperger said.

And in Rogue River, the company recently submitted additional plans to the city of Rogue River. It had submitted preliminary paperwork more than two months ago, looking to build behind the Chevron station near Main and Pine streets.

Dollar General spokeswoman Mary Kathryn Patterson said the Rogue River store is not expected to be out of the planning phase until late summer or thereabouts. As for stores in Cave Junction and Grants Pass, Patterson said the company was exploring those locations, but was not yet committed to building.

"It is so early," she said last week. "It's too early to say it's still happening. Oregon is such a new market for us."