Demolition Alert 11: Dollar General Strikes Again in Marlborough, New Hampshire

Dollar General

Dollar General

Update: The Keene Sentinel reports that the Dollar General store in Marlborough, New Hampshire has been denied by the planning board. Hooray! To get the back-story, please read on . . .

If you can believe it, another Dollar General wants to encroach on another village in Marlborough, New Hampshire just miles from Winchester, New Hampshire where we reported another Demolition Alert on the Wheaton-Alexander House. The Keene Sentinel reports:

The company behind a controversial development in Winchester is now proposing a similar project for Marlborough’s Main Street.

The Zaremba Group of Cleveland has proposed building a 9,100-square-foot building to house a Dollar General store at 82 Main St. in place of a 150-year-old farmhouse.

That home is owned by William and Theresa Thomas, who have lived there for 60 years. It sits just east of downtown near the intersection of Main and Canada streets on a large lot.

William Thomas said a company working with Zaremba approached him in the spring of 2010 about buying the property and has since done extensive surveying of the land.

It’s an old home in need of many repairs, and the company made him a fair offer, said William Thomas.

The development would include a parking lot, bringing the total project size to 31,680 square feet, according to the company’s application. The zoning board requires a special exception for any project that exceeds 10,000 square feet total.

Zaremba submitted its application with the town’s zoning board earlier this month. The board, along with the town’s planning board, will hold a joint public hearing Wednesday, Dec. 7, on the project.

Zaremba officials could not be reached for comment.

The current single-family home is about 2,800 square feet and has an attached barn, according to William Thomas.

Really, what is it with these Dollar General folks? If you take a look at the Google Map below, you’ll see that the first thing to greet visitors as you come into Marlborough on State Route 101 from Keene will be the Dollar General (which we’re sure is their intent).

Yet, is that image the village wants to portray? What about the poor souls living across the street who will have front-row seats to the parking lot and store? Who is going to compensate them for their lost home value?

What really burns us up is that this Zaremba Group that want to develop this store is based in Ohio?! None of the owners will have to look at the blight they are bringing to the doorstep of this village. If you check out their website these two projects appear to be their first commercial projects in New Hampshire. Although they have been successful in plastering Dollar General stores all over Ohio and Pennsylvania.

We’ve been trying to figure out why these folks insist on an occupied village lot and the only conclusion we can reach is that they don’t want to pay to clear and landscape virgin land. After all, what do the properties in Winchester and Marlborough have in common . . . they are former farms with lots of flat land. If that’s the case, go buy a field somewhere and leave the villages and their historic homes alone.

Also, the Dollar General saga in Winchester, New Hampshire continues . . .

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Please add your thoughtful comment . . .
Malaise says:

The zoning board unanimously denied Dollar General application for special exception because they failed to meet 3 out of for of the necessary criteria to qualify.

Excellent news Malaise . . . does this mean their application is dead?  Or can they appeal?

Malaise says:

I don’t know what the legal process is. Some of the townspeople have expressed concerns that Zaremba may try to appeal. However, among the many reasons why they were denied is the fact that it might affect the town’s well. Not sure they could get around that one.
Not one person spoke in their favor and the meeting was well attended. It was a thing of beauty!
I own six properties on Main Street Marlborough which I have tried to make as attractive as possible. I made it clear (and it is no bluff) that should something like DG were to come to town I would have to think of an exit strategy and sell my properties. Now, with them not coming, I can continue my work, beautifying this amazing New England village.

Malaise, thank you for keeping us updated on this important issue.  

We hope you have “liked” us on our facebook page as one of our goals here is to build an army of good folks like yourself to help us spread the word when our towns and villages fall under assault.

We appreciate your efforts to save our historic buildings and we hope to visit Marlborough soon to get pictures for our town picture galleries 🙂