If you live in the hills west of Ithaca, your shopping options are limited. The folks behind Dollar General see that as an opening.

The Broadway Group of Huntsville, Alabama will be building the prefabricated metal building will replace a single-family home at 2124 Mecklenburg Road, north of Enfield Elementary. The $998,000 project is being funded by Southern States Bank, also of Alabama.

A check of Enfield’s Planning Board reveals that the applicant has taken great pains not to reveal the name of the tenant, saying only a stand-alone variety dry goods store. This is due to a confidentiality clause that The Broadway Group has with their unnamed client that limits what the developer could say, and the construction loan makes no reference to the potential tenant. However, a quick online search indicates that The Broadway Group specializes in building Dollar General stores. The firm will own the metal building for a year until it transfers over to an LLC, most likely belonging to Dollar General. Expect a late fall opening for the store and with it, 10-12 retail jobs.

The new store continues an aggressive development strategy by offering a limited array of discount goods so that folks don’t have to drive all the way to Wal-Mart, the Dollar General chain has proliferated in the Ithaca area over the past few years. A Dollar General developed by Primax Properties opened in Lansing last year, a store opened in Dryden a little before that, and one is planned in Candor in Tioga County.

Compared to many struggling retailers, Dollar General has seen the past couple years as a veritable feast of opportunities, filling sub-markets between big box discount stores in the same way convenience stores or bodegas fill in between big box grocers. 900 new locations opened in 2016, and up to 1,000 are planned for 2017. The Tennessee-based small-box retailer has over 12,500 locations in 43 states.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.