KNAPPA — Dollar General, the national variety store chain approved for a location in Gearhart and denied in Astoria, is proposing another store in Knappa.
Cross Development, the Texas-based developer behind the local stores, is scheduled for a hearing in September before the Clatsop County Planning Commission. The developer is seeking a conditional use permit and comprehensive plan amendment to build a 9,100-square-foot store on a 1-acre lot at the corner of U.S. Highway 30 and Hillcrest Loop Road.
The property, owned by Rod Zweber, is the site of the former Hwy 30 Roadhouse restaurant.
Cross Development would demolish the former restaurant and build a new 18-foot-tall store with access off of Hillcrest Loop Road. The project requires a conditional use permit and comprehensive plan amendment because the store would be bigger than the 4,000 square feet usually allowed in a rural community commercial and light industrial zone. Buildings may exceed the limit if they “are intended to serve the rural community, surrounding rural area or the needs of people passing through the area,” according to county code.
The developer will go before the Planning Commission on Sept. 11. Julia Decker, the county’s planning manager, said the commission will make a recommendation to the county Board of Commissioners.
Cross Development was recently approved for a store along U.S. Highway 101 in Gearhart after adding more parking. A grand opening is planned on Monday.
The Astoria Design Review Committee last year rejected the design for a proposed Dollar General in the Mill Pond neighborhood. Mike Stults, of Cross Development, said the company is still interested in opening a location in Astoria. City Planner Nancy Ferber said no new proposal has been submitted since the denial.
Amid the upheavals and closures of other national retailers, Dollar General is in expansion mode, focusing on smaller, less-expensive stores and expanding its grocery selection.
“The ability to offer produce, particularly in areas with limited grocery availability, represents an attractive growth opportunity for Dollar General in the years ahead,” Todd Vasos, CEO of Dollar General, said in a recent conference call with analysts.
The retailer, now with about 15,000 locations, has opened nearly 3,000 new stores over the past three years, while remodeling or relocating more than 2,500 others, according to Zacks Equity Research. The company plans to open 900 new stores this year, remodel 1,000 and relocate 100.