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Dollar General store eyes Talent location

The Talent Planning Commission has approved a developer’s proposal for a Dollar General store on West Valley View Road near Highway 99, but the corporation says it is still considering whether to locate there.

Under the proposal, a 9,100-square-foot store would be constructed on 1.72 acres at 105 W. Valley View Road, between the Anjou Club apartments and the SNAP Fitness and Edward Jones locations.

Embree Asset Group, Inc. of Georgetown, Texas, secured the approval and no appeals of that decision were filed by a May 20 deadline. City officials say several criteria not addressed in the original application will need to be met before the city issues construction permits.

Dollar General spokeswoman Crystal Ghassemi said the company would probably not confirm the outlet until early next year.

“We look at several factors,” said Ghassemi. "We look at traffic patterns, demographics of the area, the needs of the community. Also we take community concerns into account, one of which is securing the permits we need to be able to build.”

While looking at internal business factors, the company simultaneously moves ahead with securing permits and doesn’t want one aspect to get too far ahead of the other, said Ghassemi.

Embree owns the land and would build the structure to Dollar General specifications, but would then sell it to a property investor who would lease it to the chain, said Phil Bramsen, project manager. Embree is a preferred contractor for Dollar General and builds 20 to 25 stores for the chain annually, said Bramsen.

“We are doing some enhancements to the building at the request of the city to enhance it from our standard approach,” said Bramsen. That will include exterior differences on the pre-engineered steel building.

Bramsen estimates construction could start in six months after design is finalized and permits secured.

Dollar General opened its first store in Oregon last year on March 7. It has stores in Rogue River, Shady Cove, Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Brookings, Canyonville, Winston, Roseburg, Sutherlin and Klamath Falls. The chain will supply the store from its distribution center in Lebec, Calif.

Expansion up the Interstate 5 corridor is likely for the chain, said Ghassemi, who would not comment on particular sites or other possible stores in the Rogue Valley. The chain is in all but seven states, most of those in the Northwest.

Among requirements for constructions permits is a more detailed tree planting design and permits from Rogue Valley Sewer Services for hookups and storm-water runoff. Screening of the Anjou apartments from the store would include fences and trees.

The entrance to the new store would be off Valley View. Talent has received a $460,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to convert West Valley View in front of the proposed store site and other businesses from a two-lane east-bound, one-lane westbound configuration into two travel lanes and a center turn lane in 2017. Accidents have occurred in the eastbound lanes when traffic slows for left turns into businesses.

Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at tboomwriter@gamil.com.