OAKLAND — Dollar General Corp., the nation’s largest player in the dollar store retail category, has broken ground for a new store on Kennedy Memorial Drive adjacent to the Somerset Stone and Stove company.

“I believe they’re planning on being up and rolling by next spring, if not earlier, so they’re going to be building this thing through the winter months,” Oakland Town Manager Gary Bowman said.

The retailer’s construction contractor has moved heavy equipment on to the site and has started to move earth in preparation for the start of construction.

After bidding to acquire Family Dollar Stores Inc., the second largest chain in the category, Dollar General said it was continuing its expansion into Maine, but said plans for the Oakland store were “in our due diligence phase as we work to determine if this particular location is a good fit for the community and Dollar General.”

At the time, Dollar General had already received a building permit for the Oakland site.

Dollar General eventually launched a hostile takeover bid for Family Dollar after its offer to buy the company was rebuffed.

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The potential acquisition of Family Dollar by Dollar General set off antitrust concerns, and Dollar General said that it would shed 700 stores as part of its acquisition.

Bowman said a Dollar General store in Oakland will fit with the community.

“We’re excited just to get somebody of that magnitude into Oakland,” he said. “I mean, you know, Oakland has kind of gotten the short end of the stick sometimes on some of these largest businesses, and it’s kind of exciting to see something like that come into town.”

Bowman did not have projections available for the store’s anticipated tax impact in Oakland.

Dollar General announced last spring it would expand its operations into Maine, Rhode Island and Oregon.

Earlier this year, an 8,320-square-foot Family Dollar store was proposed in Waterville at 121 Kennedy Memorial Drive, less than three miles from the Dollar General location.

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However, city planner Ann Beverage said Wednesday that the developer has withdrawn the proposal.

A Dollar General spokeswoman did not return a call requesting comment.

Evan Belanger — 861-9239

[email protected]


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