By John Mullen
If history is much of a teacher – and very recent history – then Orange Beach is about to get its fourth Dollar General store and the second on Canal Road.
“They don’t label it as a Dollar General,” Orange Beach Director of Community Development Kit Alexander said. “It’s a retail store by the Broadway Group.”
The Broadway Group is on the Orange Beach Planning Commission agenda for March 11 asking for site plan approval for a 9,100-square-foot store at 26763 Canal Road.
Every new Dollar General store in Orange Beach – three new ones – and the new one in Gulf Shores all had the same inauspicious beginning. The Broadway Group, a real estate company headquartered in Huntsville, would apply for a site plan approval for a “retail store” and when all was said and done a Dollar General was sitting there.
“You could possibly say that a retail store has been submitted by the group that has historically built Dollar Generals in Orange Beach,” Alexander said.
The property owned by the Broadway Group is due west of Bear Point Plaza and across the street from The Keg Bar and Grill. It is bounded on the north by Magnolia Avenue. Alexander said the city will likely require no interaction with Magnolia from the new store.
“Staff is recommending that there be no access to the residential street to the north,” she said. “We don’t want any trucks causing a problem for those residents. And were’ going to be asking for a fence along that whole northern property line to prevent impacts to that residential neighborhood. We don’t want them to have that negative impact on that street.”
In July of 2017, the city council balked at the latest Dollar General built just north of the city hall complex on Alabama 161. The developers were asked to come up with a more coastal design for the exterior. Several council members also expressed concerns about the traffic and closeness to a neighborhood. It was tabled in the meeting.
The store finally gained approval and the council’s traffic concerns were assuaged. In August of 2018, the council OK’d a liquor license for the new location. It replaced the Dollar General in the WalMart shopping center. A Souvenir City recently opened in that old location.
Other Dollar General stores are located on the north side of beach road on the west side of town and on Canal Road across from J&M.