AUGUSTA — A Dollar General retail store is proposed to be built on Eastern Avenue.

The 9,100-square-foot building for the business would be built on a vacant, forested 2.37-acre lot at 296 Eastern Ave., which is next to Saltbox Primitives and roughly across the street from Bill’s Barber Shop in the area of Farrington Elementary School.

The project goes to the Planning Board Tuesday for a major development review. The site is in the Planned Development zoning district, where a retail store is a conditional use.

As a conditional use, the project faces a higher level of review than if a retail store was a permitted use in that zone.

“The (planning) board takes a closer look at the issue of neighborhood compatibility, as well as things like traffic and lighting requirements, for a conditional use,” said Matt Nazar, the city’s development director.

The project is expected to cost about $750,000, according to plans filed for it by Northeast Civil Solutions on behalf of Franklin Land Associates, the Tennessee-based developer behind the project and other Dollar General stores across the country.

Nazar said city officials have reviewed the potential for neighborhood compatibility of the project and recommend board members “have additional conversation with the applicant about building design and layout. It is a bit unlike anything out there today with the possible exception of Caron’s Collision Center.”

A written staff review of the project notes the building would have a flat roof, and there are very few other buildings in that area with flat roofs now, and none that share the proposed modern commercial box construction design.

The developer, in its application to the city, states the building would be compatible with the neighborhood around it, which also has multiple other commercial buildings nearby.

The application notes the project would add jobs, have a limited impact on services, provide retail services beyond large malls and “to an older population that may have challenges accessing the city center,” and expand the tax base with no impact on schools.

Dollar General, according to the corporation’s website, has more than 12,000 stores in 43 states and is “America’s largest small-box discount retailer by sales.” It sells clothes, food, health and beauty-related products, and pet and other items.

It already has stores in Litchfield, Lewiston, Auburn, Turner and Oakland in central Maine.

The store would generate 65 vehicle trips during the peak evening commute, according to a traffic study provided as part of application materials filed with the city.

The additional traffic the store would be expected to draw, according to city officials, would require modifications to Eastern Avenue including a left-turn lane.

The Augusta Planning Board meets to review the project and hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at Augusta City Center. It is the board’s only agenda item.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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