Planners OK Family Dollar discount at College Plaza

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 15, 2013 

The Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a site plan for a second general merchandise discount store.

The 9,180-square-foot Family Dollar was unanimously approved for construction in College Plaza at 2160 E. Pacheco Blvd., east of Food 4 Less.

Community Development Director Paula Fitzgerald said the store will conform to some of the Spanish mission architectural features in Los Banos' design standards.

"This is not a typical building for Family Dollar. Their buildings are typically metal and have a very standard theme and branding. However, in this case, they knew what was there and our design guidelines, so they made changes," Fitzgerald said.

Commissioners questioned the site plan's proposal for parking and whether there would be enough room on the side of the building for delivery trucks to safely maneuver into the shopping center's main area.

Val Clemens of Rich Development Co. said he believes there's more than ample room for the 75-foot vans that deliver to the store twice per week.

Family Dollar plans to construct 38 parking spaces.

The store opened in 1959 in North Carolina as a discount store for low- to middle-class neighborhoods. Family Dollar has more than 6,800 outlets across the country and sells a range of items from food to toys, bedding and personal hygiene items. It will follow Dollar General as general merchandise stores that will open in town this year.

Commissioner Tom Spada said he thinks the Family Dollar project is great.

"I think it gives more competition and that's a good thing," Spada said. "It's more jobs. I think it's great. I like seeing competition, but I also love we're going to get more jobs."

There is no word on how many employees will be hired by Family Dollar. However, Clemens said the store will open between October and December.

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