A Dollar General store in Dearing is on the horizon.
The variety store chain, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, is engaged in preliminary efforts to open a store at 4756 Augusta Highway.
“We are currently in our due diligence phase for a new Dollar General in Dearing, Georgia that would be located off Augusta Highway. This means we are reviewing the opportunity to add a new store in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet,” said spokesperson Mary Kathryn Colbert, in a Nov. 27 email. “Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on this by the summer of 2020.”
Before anything occurs, the proposed 1.42-acre location has to be rezoned from residential to commercial. The Dearing Town Council will conduct a Public Hearing on Dec. 9, 2019 at 7 p.m. to discuss the rezoning of the parcel of residential property to commercial property and vote.
According to Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley, Dollar General contacted him several months ago looking for property to open a store in Dearing on Hwy. 278. He said the property under consideration for the retail store project was mistakenly zoned residential when it should have been zoned commercial. “It got missed when we did our map,” he said. “We have to have it rezoned and properly attached to industry,” Kelley said.
According to Colbert, meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority when choosing store locations. The company looks for places where it can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice and is built to serve customers within a three to five mile radius, or 10-minute drive of a location. “We also take competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration, “ she said.
The mayor said he has received positive feedback from Dearing residents and from people living around the town about a future Dollar General in town. Kelley said his initial concern about Dollar General coming to Dearing was the impact the retail store might have on Axons, the go-to store for a variety of foods and products in the town.
“Axons has been established for a long time. It is supported by the town and supports the town,” Kelley said. “They are gracious with everything asked of them.”
Kelley that since town residents frequent the Dollar General in nearby Harlem, a store in Dearing would be a financial boom to town. “If one is available in town, people will shop in town,” he said. “Dollar General’s coming does not mean an end to the community’s support of Axons,” Kelley said.
The mayor is excited about the more than $1 million proposed store project and the jobs it could bring to the town
The store will initially employ six to 12 people, Colbert said. The numbers depend on the individual needs of the store.
“I am pleased about Dollar General wanting to locate here,” Kelley said. “I am glad that someone has taken an interest in coming to our small town. Maybe this will spur more interest.”