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Dollar General pulls out of Phoenix land deal

A Dollar General store won’t be locating in Phoenix in the near future, although the company says it is looking for other options in the area.

Embree Asset Group, Inc., which builds stores that are occupied by Dollar General, has backed out of negations to purchase a lot at 107 S. Main St. from the Phoenix Urban Renewal Agency, Interim City Manager and PHURA Executive Director Matt Brinkley reported to City Council last week.

“We did decide not to pursue this location due to some cost issues on this particular project. We just couldn't make the numbers work,” Dollar General Senior Director of Corporate Communications Dan MacDonald wrote in response to phone and email inquiries.

“We are continuing to look at all available options in the Phoenix area, and we are doing so with a different developer, but that’s not a negative reflection on Embree,” MacDonald added. “It’s probably more about bandwidth and who has the time/energy to pursue another location.”

Negotiations had been underway since June to sell 19,000 square feet of the parcel for $325,000. A 14,000-square-foot space on the rear of the site was envisioned for residential development.

PHURA will still be able to proceed with what is called the Plaza Building, a community center on Main Street, despite the lack of a property sale, said Al Muelhoefer, chairman of the agency board of directors.

“Those funds are in a separate account that we have established for the design and construction of the Plaza Building,” said Muelhoefer. “This doesn’t affect in any way the ongoing development of that building.”

Design of the building is underway. PHURA also has several parcels for sale in the area between Main Street, Bear Creek Drive, First and Fourth streets.

A $150,000 loan from the city to PHURA, approved by City Council in July, will be repaid by Dec. 1, Muelhoefer said. The agency took the loan because it won’t receive tax revenues until November.

“We are fine. We have sufficient funds to continue,” said Muelhoefer. “Certainly we are looking for sales … and we are marketing to the maximum extent possible.”

A tenant has been found for the third suite in a building at 312 N. Main St. that PHURA purchased, Brinkley reported. Plans call for selling that building, said Muelhoffer. A lot line adjustment is currently underway so that a portion of the property can be used in a separate sale.

A Dollar General store in Talent is going forward. Ground was being cleared this week for the store at 105 W. Valley View Road, Talent Community Development Director Zac Moody reported. Embree is building the 9,100-square-foot store.

Construction of the Talent store should take about 120 days, said Phil Branson, a project manager for Embree. Weather factors will likely affect when the building will be finished, he said.

Embree is a preferred contractor for Dollar General and builds from 20 to 25 stores a year for the chain, said Branson. Embree will own the land and erect the structure to Dollar General specifications, then sell it to a property investor who will lease it to the chain.

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