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Vacant lot where Dollar General Should Go
This vacant lot in Holtville, the former site of a mobile home park near Palm Avenue and Fifth Street, is planned to be the site of a Dollar General store. | Corissa Ibarra photo

Dollar General: Is It a Go or Not in Holtville?

Although plans for a Dollar General store in Holtville are moving forward, the retailer’s corporate office still has not committed to opening in the city and likely won’t do so before next fall.

“At this time, we are currently in due diligence phase for a new Dollar General in Holtville, California, that would be located off Palm Avenue,” Angela Petkovic, a Dollar General spokesperson wrote in a Nov. 14 email.

“This means we are reviewing the opportunity to add a new store in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet. Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on this by the fall 2020,”  she added.

Told of  the comment, Holtville City Manager Nick Wells quipped, “Not sure what that is,” and added all is fine as long as the city doesn’t lose any money.

Meanwhile, Holtville planning consultant Jeorge Galvan said the first plan check with new developer, NNN Retail Development of San Diego, was finished Nov. 8. The next step is for the developers to make their necessary adjustments to the design work and resubmit it to the city for further review, though that likely will not occur before the end of November, Galvan said.

He said the plan check process comes after the developer has applied for its  building permits. Planners then go over the designs to make sure they adhere to city building codes for not only the structure itself but for water and sewer placement, sidewalks, nearby streets, and even aesthetics.

In Holtville’s case, Galvan said, the project has to adhere to an “old historic downtown” motif that follows certain colors, architectural features and landscaping.

Although this is the first plan check with NNN, this was the seventh plan check for the Dollar General project, which started with a different firm, Cross Development, in May 2017, Galvan explained.

Dollar General would be developed on a 42,000-square-foot lot on the southwest corner of Palm Avenue/Highway 115 and West Fifth Street. The store structure is listed at 7,225 square feet.

The project site is about 300 feet west of a similar store, Family Dollar, also on  Fifth.

Galvan said NNN was looking to break ground by the start of the new year, with the build to be done by the end of March/early April.

When Dollar General’s Petkovic was informed city officials believed that Dollar General was going to build in Holtville, the public relations person responded on Nov. 15: “A part of our due diligence phase includes securing all necessary permits to ensure that we can move forward with a project should we decide to at the conclusion of that process.”

No one would confirm how much the Dollar General project was costing. No contact information could be located for NNN, Galvan could not say how much was being spent, and Petkovic said it was corporate policy not to discuss costs associated with developing a new location.

Petkovic was asked how many jobs would be created by a project of Holtville’s size.

“Should we move forward with this project, the store would employ approximately six to 10 employees, depending on the individual needs of the store,” she wrote Nov. 14.

Holtville Mayor Ginger Ward did not return repeated phone calls or return messages seeking comment for this story.

As far as what Dollar General would bring to Holtville, Petkovic wrote: “Dollar General sells quality, name-brand and private brand merchandise such as foods, health and beauty products, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal items and basic clothing. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted brands …”

This story is featured in the Nov 21, 2019 e-Edition.