Breaking News!!: Needles, CA: Needles Planning Commission Members approved Dollar General Store.

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Breaking News!!: Needles, CA: Needles Planning Commission Members approved Dollar General Store.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission approved the 6 conditions and a resolution for a Dollar General Store off of J Street in Needles, California during a Needles Planning Commission Meeting held on Monday, August 24th, 2015.

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Members of the Needles Planning Commission reviewed a request for development of a new Dollar General Store on the southwest corner of a hill that overlooks J Street and Hospitality Lane in Needles, California.

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The location where this new Dollar General Store is going to be build is surrounded by the Needles’ Dog Park, the Days Inn and Suites motel, and Interstate 40 as well as residents and parks within walking distance.

The new Dollar General Store will be a 9100 square foot store with 2 driveway entries from J Street and Hospitality Lane and the front of the building will be facing J Street and the main parking area that overlooks J Street.

The new Dollar General store will reportedly create 10 to 15 new jobs, add property valuation to the City of Needles’ total valuation, and will be used by near by residents as well as travelers and people visiting the near by dog park and park for fun, family gathering, or sporting event.

DG Project PC Packet 8-24-2015-10

A short PowerPoint presentation was presented to members of the Needles Planning Commission and the public walking through the project.

Speaking over the telephone in a conference call, Managing Partner at Development Management Group Inc. Michael Bracken joined with applicant Jeff Lee, Vice Presented of Simon C.R.E. in Scottsdale, Arizona, to discuss the project and to answer any questions.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission asked if they had any questions or comments.

Members of the Needles Planning Commission talked about the property being lowered at least 5 feet and dirt will be reloaded as part of that lowering of the property, and the property having 2 driveway entries where the public will be entering the business.

Discussion then turned to the design of the structure of the new Dollar General Store.

Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey discussed her concerns of having a “steel building” built.

“Part of my concern is that we’re letting a business come in and put in is steal building when when people want to put in a garage, they can’t put in those – you have buildings that already done – we make them do stucco, to make it look nice,” said Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey.

Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey told members of the Needles Planning Commission that she was told that she couldn’t put a steel building and had to do a stucco building for her garage.

“When I tried to build my garage they wouldn’t let me put a building, they told me I had to do a stucco building – that I couldn’t build a steal building there,” said Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey.

Cindy Semione with the City of Needles told Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey that its the same process that everybody has to go through and, “quite honestly, on a residential note, it has been downsized to a special use permanent for planning commission only.”

Because this was a public hearing, the public got to comment and address their concerns about the new Dollar General Store.

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Jan Paget, wife of City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget, spoke against of having a “steel building” built.

“I hear the words steal building again and I have not talked to anyone who thinks that the bus barn is an attractive building. some people don’t even know what it is, they think Santa Fe put it up because they said “well, the railroad doesn’t care what anything looks like so we thought they put it up” and I say no the city did that. So I think that this is the last thing we need, a steal building, and we really need is a grocery store, not another 99 cent store or a dollar store. So I’m very opposed to this,” said Jan Paget.

Jan continued talking about the building and how it would look like as well as how the look of the building will affect other buildings in the area to not look nice.

When asked to clarify if she was oppose the business or the look of the building, Jan said, “both; I really think we need a grocery store, or some place where people can buy produce and meat, and I don’t think this is being the solution.”

The discussion went on to how the layout of the property and if the the amount of space is there for this particular type of business.

“I think the area – the map looks great, but just thinking about it, I don’t thinking about it, there’s enough area to put that there, with parking and everything, and the dog park right there and the ballpark right there; I think it would be kind of crowded, though I haven’t really checked it out enough to see that,” said Jan Paget.

Michael Bracken spoke responded to the speaker’s comments and provided some more information and clarifications.

“The site is over 2 acres, which is approximately 85 to 95 thousand square feet and the coverage of the building totals a 10% percent of floor ratio,” said Michael Bracken.

Michael Bracken added, “In terms of the ratio, there’s plenty of space for this size of a building or a larger building if they choose to do that. Relative to the Dollar General, I have done a number of a Dollar General Stores in different communities that we represent, and I suggest to you that though it’s not a traditional grocery store, it’s certainly not a dollar store either. If you go on to their website and look at their ads, a significant amount of their products they sell is food. I couldn’t agree with the speaker more that the city does need a traditional grocery store and we’re working on that. Unfortunately with a population of 5,000, it gets very difficult to get a traditional grocery store.”

Michael Bracken ended the discussion saying, “This community will either, decide that it’s open for business to those who are want to make economical investment in the community or it isn’t.”

Members of the Needles Planning Commission went back to the discussion about the design of the building and the front facade of the structure which including some brick work.

“A grey finish, like a masonry finish, so that the front of the building definitely looks upgraded; it has a nice storefront entry section,” said Jeff Lee.

Michael Bracken told members of the Needles Planning Commission that the building is under a requirement to maintain that building under the conditional use permanent for as long as they used that building, that includes ongoing maintenance of the building and even painting of the building if there is cracks and fading is scene and needs another coat of paint.

As part of the project, Hospitality Lane will be repaved from J Street to the end of Hospitality Lane near the dog park entry which the City of Needles appreciates the repaving of their street as they are working with limited funds to repave many of their streets.

But, Jan Paget commented about the Hospitality Lane being repaved says as part of the project saying, “First of all, paving the street is just throwing the city a bone – to agree to this; I don’t think that’s a big deal.”

DG Project PC Packet 8-24-2015-8

 

Afterwards, Jan Paget talked about the Dollar Tree and what happened when the 99 Cents Only store came in to Needles, California.

Jan Paget said, “When we had the Dollar Tree; great store, lots of people out there, everybody used it. Then we get 99 Cent Store, well Dollar Tree is practically out of business now. I don’t know how many people go by there but there’s hardly any cars…”

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That’s when Jan Paget was interrupted by Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey who said, “They are closing”.

Jan Paget asked Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey if Dollar Tree Store is closing and Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey nodded yes.

This shocked some of the people in attendance, well other people were not surprised and knew that this was going to happen someday.

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Some resident have feared that the Dollar Tree Store, located on 1100 East Broadway in Needles, California, would be forced to closed because more people were going to the 99 Cent Only Store.

It was only in the last few months that customers began telling other residents and even ZachNews that they were informed by employees at the Dollar Tree Store of a possible closure because to low sells and not enough shoppers coming into the store.

The Dollar Tree Store grow to be a store that had friendly service with employees that got to know you not just as a person, and the store even worked hard to put in a frozen food section when news of Bashas’ Grocery Store was closing so that the community can still have a place to go and purchase milk, cheese, sandwich meats, frozen dinners, and other frozen foods.

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As for the 99 Cents Only Store, they have been opened for a year and according to the City of Needles, has generated similar amount of sale tax as Bashas’ Grocery Store did before they closed in May 2014.

While not an ideal replacement and while many people were upset at how the City of Needles Officials promoted the store, the City of Needles says that the 99 Cents Only Store has served in providing some of the essentials the community needs such as fresh produce, dairy, meat, cheese, and bread.

The question came up if Dollar General has such a thing of a Dollar General market.

According to Dollar General, Dollar General Markets, which were founded in 2009, is a chain of hypermarkets, and is similar to a Walmart Supercenter, but smaller.

The Dollar General Markets sells everything a regular Dollar General store sells, but with an expanded selection of groceries such as dairy, meat, dry foods, frozen foods, snacks and beer, as well as fresh produce which they say is market fresh guarantee, or your money back.

** Source: Dollar General Markets: **

http://www2.dollargeneral.com/market/Pages/index.aspx

Both Dollar General Stores and Markets sells clothing, cleaning supplies, home decor, health and beauty aids, pet supplies, toys, tobacco products, and seasonal items.

Jeff Lee said that yes, Dollar General has Dollar General Markets, but this store is not a Dollar General Market.

At the end, members of the Needles Planning Commission approved 6 to 1 to approve all 6 conditions as well as the resolution for the new Dollar General Store.

The agenda item will now go to Needles City Council at their next Needles City Council Meeting which will be held on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

– Needles, CA: Video: Needles Planning Commission: 8-24-2015: Agenda Item #6(B):

**** You can view this agenda item from the Special Needles Planning Commission Meeting at the following City of Needles website address: ****

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2015_WEBSITE_FILE_POSTING/3_PLANNING_COMMISSION/8_AUGUST/DG%20Project%20PC%20Packet%208-24-2015.pdf

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Later on during the Needles Planning Commission Meeting, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels talks to members of the Needles Planning Commission about the work to find a new grocery store and who the City of Needles has talked with so far.

“You know it came up earlier, the issue of a grocery store, we have been terribly frustrated since Bashes left and we have repeatedly and continuously are in contact with every grocery store chain that there is, plus a couple of folks who inquired about creating and independent grocery store, and we are ready to assist anybody that has any plans for what I call a full service grocery store. So we’re anxious, we’ve been sculpturing, we’ve been in contact; we’ve continuous leering contact all of the grocers in the western United States. We’ve talked to Aldi which is the parent company of Trader Joe’s that has a less than Trader Joe’s store that they’re putting in. They’re not ready to go into this market yet; their focusing on higher return markets; bigger, well tiered communities. We’ve been in contact with Haggen who took over a number of Albertsons stores when they had – Safeway sold and there was all that – and yeah actually they ended up closing a number of stores because this isn’t a good market for them. We’ve been in contact wit Stater Bros, Ralphs, Smith’s; every grocery chain we can find and we will continue to do so,” said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.

Needles Planning Commission Member Debra Downey then told Needles City Manager Rick Daniels about a location the District has that would be good for a grocery store.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels continued saying, “And we – the reaction we keep getting is that not enough people in the market and so from an from an economic development strategic standpoint, we were – we are going to be in contact with 5 residential re-developers to bring in new residential subdivisions in here so we can start getting our rooftop count up, begin to make us more attractive for investors to put in a grocery, and we have such wonderful properties all up and down the river that a retirement community subdivision involving a hundred acres would be grand – if we can get somebody; one of the major developers. So between now and the end of the year, we will be in contact with all the major home builders in Southern California and the southwest to try to get somebody to spark an interest.”

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels ended the discussion saying, “I wanted everybody to know that we are in search… everyday.”

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: **

– Needles, CA: Video: Needles Planning Commission: 8-24-2015: Needles City Manager:

**** You can view other City of Needles meetings agendas at the following City of Needles website address: ****

http://www.cityofneedles.com/Pages/Departments-Services/Boards/1-2015%20CITY%20MEETINGS.html

For more information regarding the Needles Planning Commission Meetings, please contact Cindy Semione at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113.

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345.

4 thoughts on “Breaking News!!: Needles, CA: Needles Planning Commission Members approved Dollar General Store.

  1. Worst possible place to put a retail store. Try the Valero, the closing Dollar Tree, any of the other empty plots downtown, or even the empty Napa building!

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