04-13-2017 Developers to build Dollar General in Hagar Township; Watervliet School District completi

Developers to build Dollar General in Hagar Township; Zoning Board of Appeals approve numerous variances

By Jon Bisnett

Developers Midwest V, LLC got a thumbs-up in the form of five small zoning variances from the Hagar Zoning Board of Appeals paving the way for Midwest to construct a new 9,000 square foot building to house a Dollar General retail store in northwest Hagar Township.

What a Difference Time Makes

DOLLAR GENERAL HEADED TO HAGAR… De-spite adamant local objection to a prior attempt at redevelop-ment and rezoning of the former Vitali’s Market, the Hagar Township Zoning Board of Ap-peals has given its unanimous approval to a series a variances requested by developer Mid-west V, LLC as they intend to demolish the existing structures located at 6230 and 6246 M-63 to make room for a newly con-structed building and parking lot to accommodate a Dollar General store. The now vacant parcels formerly housed a truck & auto parts shop and an ice cream store. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

Developers first attempted to bring Dollar General to the area back in 2014 at the location of the former Vitali’s Market.

The market parcel, shuttered at the time, came with a laundry list of complications in terms of non-compliant zoning issues that had been grandfathered over the years.

In September of 2014 the Hagar Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve rezoning for the project. It was later overturned by the full township board in reaction to a veritable firestorm of negative reaction by community members as over 70 residents packed the township hall.

The decision resulted in litigation, since settled, without public disclosure of the terms.

New approach

 The most recent proposal by Midwest V, LLC entails the purchase of two lots located at 6230 and 6246 M-63, demolishing the two structures and combining the lots to have one building with a parking lot. The property is already properly zoned for commercial use and has road frontage on M-63, West Hagar Shore and Central Avenue.

Jason Raleigh with AR Engineering from Kalamazoo, who is working with the developer, said the variances are to reduce the setback on Hagar Shore Road, reduce the setback along the M-63 side, reduction in the number of required parking spaces from 30 down to 24 in order to maximize the property.

Midwest V, LLC plans will lease Dollar General the 9,100 square foot building, said Midwest spokesperson Peter Oleszczuk with a 15-year lease, with further provision for an additional five 5-year extensions.

Community reaction

 One question arose from a resident in attendance at the public hearing as to what would happen if the Dollar General deal falls apart. Oleszczuk replied the area would have a new, good-sized building with great frontage on M-63 that can always be divided up and repurposed.

While a few voiced concerns about increased vehicle traffic, and possible effect on area property values, other residents welcomed the new business, preferring it over the unsightly vacant buildings that formerly housed an ice cream shop and a truck and auto parts house.

Recognizing the shape of the property posed difficulties for the developer, the HZBA voted unanimously to grant the variances.

Oleszczuk said the next step is to submit a site plan. There is no timeline yet for when the store may open.

Dollar General Corporation, NYSE: DG is an American owned chain of variety stores, founded in 1939, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee with annual revenue of $20.369 billion.