Family Dollar eyes Coulwood for its next store

by Jackson Sveen

CHARLOTTE – Matthews-based Family Dollar has plans to build a new store in the Mountain Island area.

The store, slated to open this summer according to Bryn Winburn, a public relations manager with Family Dollar, will be located in the 7900 block of Bellhaven Boulevard in the Coulwood neighborhood.

The developer of the property, Barry James with C4 Development, has asked the city to rezone the approximately 1.31 acres, currently used as residential, located on the east side of Valleydale Road, on the west side of Bellhaven Boulevard and across from the intersection of Coulwood Drive and Valleydale Road.

James’ request is to change the existing office-conditional zoning “to accommodate the development of a maximum of 8,500-square-foot building containing retail, business and personal service uses and parking and related improvements.”

Neither James nor the City of Charlotte’s Planning Department returned a call from the Monitor before deadline.

A community meeting was held March 13 to gather public input on the proposed rezoning.

“The general sentiment was not in favor for a proposed Family Dollar store,” local resident Gus Kretschmer wrote in an email to the Monitor. “(Family Dollar) does not reflect well on the economic climate of the surrounding neighborhoods; even if it is in the Family Dollar business plan/study to serve the area.”

Kretschmer said that it is a changing and fragile area, and current homeowners are concerned for the stability of the surrounding neighborhood.

“That being said and knowing change is inevitable,” Kreschmer said, “the community has requested that the developer consider the amount of ‘foot’ traffic this store will generate.”

Kretschmer said neighborhood residents have a list of suggestions if the store does open, including an extension of a sidewalk on Valleydale Road, limited hours for the store, use of smaller signage and consideration of a LEED-certified building.

Family Dollar opened 125 new stores, closed one store, and renovated, relocated or expanded 169 stores in the first quarter of the 2013 fiscal year.

A public hearing for the Bellhaven proposal is scheduled for April 15 at 6 p.m. in the meeting chamber of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. 4th St.

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