Red Level to get retailer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 13, 2010

It took almost two years, but Red Level has signed its first tenant in its 32.5-acre development site on Alabama Highway 55 – a Dollar General store.

Mayor Mike Purnell said Friday, the department store will occupy a two-acre site, and its parent company, Dollar General Corporation, is currently in the process of applying for a permit that would allow for the construction of a turn-lane from Highway 55 onto the property. Purnell said discussions with the company began in November 2009.

“We can’t tell you how excited we are to bring this to our community,” Purnell said. “First and foremost, the convenience for our residents – a place where you can buy groceries, and, of course, the sales tax (revenue) for the town, that will help us. It’s good to see some commerce for the first time in a long while.”

According to the company’s Web site, site locations must be located along a retail corridor with good traffic and high visibility and must be large enough to accommodate a 9,014 square-foot building and a minimum of 30 parking spaces.

“(At the site) there’s plenty of room for expansion, and that’s what we’re praying for,” Purnell said. “Now, if we could just get a service station up here, we’ll be all set.”

This is the first economic development announcement for the town with a population of just under 600 residents in years, and Purnell believes it will be the first of many in the coming future.

“Credit for this goes to Councilman Karol Rodberg, he’s the person who made the initial contact with Dollar General,” he said. “It seems like this whole county is poised for tremendous growth. I hope we’re ready for it.”

While no official word has been given from the company as to an opening date, Purnell said he feels like it will be “late summer or early fall.”

It is unknown how many the new store will employ either, he said.