The new Dollar General store in the village of Merrillan is on track to begin construction in the spring after the village Zoning Planning Commission approved rezoning the property for the new store Monday, Dec. 11.

The property just south of Gile Memorial Park is expected to be rezoned from a conservancy district to a business district to facilitate construction of a 7,500 square-foot Dollar General storefront that is expected to be completed in August.

“It is a brand new prototype that the Dollar General corporate office has introduced. The first one that we built in Wisconsin opened up in Shell Lake earlier in the year, and that was the first of its kind throughout the state,” Todd Platt, president of Platt Development Corporation, said adding that the new store in Pittsville is the same size.

Platt Development Corporation, which has developed more than 70 stores for Dollar General in Wisconsin, is developing the property to lease it to Dollar General once the site is built.

Most Dollar General stores are 9,100 square feet, so the new prototype is a way for Dollar General to expand into smaller communities.

“Without this new prototype, they may not have given us the opportunity to be here tonight,” Platt said.

Dollar General is the largest retailer in the U.S. with more than 13,000 stores in 43 states. According to Platt, they offer competitive compensation packages and this store is expected to create 6-10 jobs with one or two of those being full-time.

“They will bring in a store manager from a different location that is experienced to do the initial hiring and get the project up and running. Eventually they will elevate somebody from the local community to the store manager and then that person will go back to the prior store,” Platt said.

The Zoning Planning Commission approved rezoning the entire lot in addition to the land the Dollar General will be located on to help spur future business development.

“To be in a position where you would have property that would be zoned for commercial retail use, now you have something that is there for someone like myself,” Platt said. “To have that property zoned properly, that is attractive to a developer.”

The village of Merrillan is expected to vote on rezoning the property, approving the certified survey map and approving the site plan at their January meeting. A public hearing will be held prior to the meeting for public comment.

Platt Development Corporation is expecting to deliver a completed building by Aug. 12 with construction starting in the spring. Local contractors will have the opportunity to bid on various aspects of the project including blacktop, concrete and landscaping.

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Jackson County Chronicle editor

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