Moving to downtown New London appears to be no bargain for Dollar General.
The company was poised to acquire land and build a new store to lease to the discount chain. It retracted its most recent offer last week.
New London city administrator Kent Hager told the Finance and Personnel Committee at its Wednesday, July 3, meeting that Dollar General’s lease on its current premises had automatically renewed.
Hager said he did not know the length of the lease renewal for the site, which is on Henry Street off North Shawano Street. That building was constructed in 2004.
Todd Platt, of Project Development LLC, did not show up for the meeting. Platt represents Golden Warriors LLC, which planned to construct the new building and lease it to Dollar General. Hager said he had learned of the change in plans via voicemail from Platt.
The finance committee was set to consider an offer from Golden Warriors to purchase vacant land owned by the city adjacent to Curt’s Barbershop for $1.
Among six pages of contingencies to the purchase offer is the buyer’s acquiring more adjoining land, referred to as the “Locy Parcels.” The contingency states that the buyer has submitted an offer to purchase dated June 10, 2013, to Mark Locy for $125,000.
The land purchases would have created an irregular L-shaped lot with space for a building toward the west, parking, and access from both Pearl Street and West Wolf River Avenue.
“A lot of time’s been put into this, and a lot of effort, on our part and theirs,” Hager said.
Four Months Earlier
In March, the city accepted an offer from Golden Warriors for $100,000 for property that included the 110-year-old building housing Curt’s Barbershop at 201 S. Pearl St. That offer called for the city to pay the cost of removing the barbershop building.
At the time, Hager said it would cost $20,000 to $30,000 to remove the building. Questions were raised about added costs related to possible asbestos in the building.
That purchase offer fell through when Dollar General said it needed a location providing access to both Pearl and West Wolf River streets.
There is other interest in part of the property Golden Warriors wanted to buy for the Dollar General store.
In June, Karen Gething and development associates proposed to create a Funky Fishing Village on the Wolf River on about 6 acres of property between the river and West Wolf River Avenue downtown. That proposal, presented to the city’s Economic Development Committee, envisioned restaurant and retail space on that corner of the parcel, possibly with apartments on an upper level. Developers said the Curt’s Barbershop property would be an essential part of the project.
The Funky Fishing Village concept, with upscale duplex condos and private boat docks, did not include Dollar General.