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Phoenix sells land for Dollar General store

PHOENIX — A Dollar General store will built on Main Street after City Council approved sale of urban renewal land for a 9,100-square-foot building. The sale will bring $325,000 the Phoenix Urban Renewal Agency where reserves are low after purchases of property in the downtown area in the past year.

A residential project is envisioned for the back 14,000 square feet of the 1.2-acres property at 107 S. Main that Dollar General will not need. PHURA’s board of directors approved the sale on June 14.

“There were some people on urban renewal who really wanted that developed with more residential housing there, but the deal they ended up working out with Dollar General was really good for them financially,” said Mayor Jeff Bellah. “At the same time we will get some residences on the back side of the property.”

Dollar General stores are spreading throughout the Rogue Valley. Gold Hill and Talent have both given approvals for the outlets, which will join stores open already in Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Rogue River and Shady Cove.

A development agreement with purchaser Embree Asset Group, Inc., which will construct the building, will call for specific building and site design features, including materials, colors and architectural elements above those required in the city’s land development code.

“The council was concerned about the appearance of the building and making sure that it was consistent with the whole vision of the city center area,” said interim City Manager Matt Brinkley. The agency had one other offer on the property.

A community center will be part of the urban renewal downtown project 1½ blocks north of the Dollar General site. The 31-acre area will also include a plaza, wetlands park and sites for commercial or government buildings. A parking lot has been constructed and city services installed at the site.

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

“I can’t speculate on when construction will start. It’s too early in the process,” said Bramsen. The firm needs to conduct due diligence on the property and gain development approval from the city. About 30 parking spaces will be created for the store.

City Council approved a loan of $150,000 to PHURA during the meeting to finance operations until the agency receives tax revenue in November. The loan will be repaid by Dec. 1.

In other business, the council appointed James Snyder to fill the council vacancy created when Karen Jones resigned in January. Snyder will serve through December 2018. He has worked in companies that contracted with the federal government and is a retired Army officer. Nancy Flowers and Jason Couch also applied for the seat.

“We ended up with three candidates and all three of them were pretty good,” said Bellah. “I’m please to get that filled.”

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