ITHACA, N.Y.—Dollar General has its sights set once again on Tompkins County. The rapidly expanding retailer’s latest outpost is being proposed in the Town of Ulysses.
The proposal, slated for a 2.42-acre patch of farmland along the 1500 Block of Trumansburg Road next door to Renovus Energy, calls for a new 10,640 square-foot Dollar General with associated parking, lighting, signage and landscaping. The square-footage is the standard format size for the slightly larger Dollar Generals that have cooler units installed to sell refrigerated and frozen goods.
The project appears to fully comply with existing zoning for the roadside parcel, since Ulysses’ “Office Technology and Mixed Use” zoning on this stretch of Trumansburg Road allows for retail buildings up to 12,000 square feet.
The store would include an access driveway and a parking lot with 35 parking spaces, with parking in front and on the south side, according to the proposal. The simple exterior design would be finished out with fiber cement siding and stone veneer. Working with Dollar General corporate on this project is Bohler Engineering of Albany, a firm that specializes in the planning and buildout of chain stores across Upstate New York, with prior experience with Dollar Generals in Tompkins County.
The review of the project has been fairly routine. At the town’s request, greenery has been added to the parking lot islands—peninsulas, perhaps, in this case—and shrubs have been added along the fenceline. Compared to some of the other Dollar Generals proposed in the county, the opposition to this plan has been muted so far. Should approvals be forthcoming, an early 2024 opening is plausible.
The Dollar General would join at least six others existing or under construction in Tompkins County. Another five are close to county lines in neighboring communities, including one just over the county line from Trumansburg in Seneca County, a little over seven miles away from this location.
At last check, Dollar General now operates nearly 19,000 stores across North America, adding nearly 3,000 locations in just the past four years. Unlike many retailers who have struggled in an increasingly internet-based economy, Dollar General’s profits have risen as it focuses on expansion in more rural and/or lower-income areas, where a lack of competing retailers (they prefer to avoid areas with Wal-Marts in close proximity) allows them to carve out a market for themselves.
Customers can expect the normal Dollar General fare, focusing on an inventory of household goods, groceries, bathroom and beauty products. As reported by NBC News, one of the company’s avenues to success has been by selling things in smaller sizes, where it might cost more per ounce, but the consumers are buying a small enough quantity that it comfortably fits more modest budgets.