Dollar General opening in former Birdsboro Market

Photo by John Strickler The Dollar General store in Birdsboro is scheduled to open on Sunday at the site of the former Birdsboro Market. The store will be staffed with between 6 and 10 employees. The building has room for three additional tenants.
File photo by John Strickler The new Route. 345 bridge in Birdsboro is scheduled to reopen next week. The opening of the bridge has been seen by Birdsboro officials as being key to efforts at revitalizing the borough’s downtown.

After sitting empty for more than three years, the former Birdsboro Market property on Chestnut Street is coming back to life as a Dollar General is scheduled to open on Sunday.

“This will be a soft-opening of the store, and we expect to hold the grand opening on Aug. 23,” Dollar General spokeswoman Jaclyn Dees said.

After being purchased in the spring by MBC Development, the investment division of Miller Bros. Construction Inc., work began on renovating the facility at 100 Chestnut St.

James W. Miller Jr., president of MBC Development, said Dollar General was looking at locating a store in Birdsboro.

“We found the site for them,” he said. “They asked us for a site in Birdsboro and we went and found this one.”

According to MBC Development’s website, the company is the preferred developer throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania for the Tennessee-based Dollar General Corp.

Miller said the Dollar General store occupies 9,000 square feet of space in the building. Dees said the sales floor represents 7,600 square feet of the total. She added that the store will employ six to 10 employees.

“That number will be adjusted depending on how busy the store is,” she said.

The building has been subdivided for additional occupants, according to Miller. A second space in the building houses The Next Step Dance Studio, which is relocating from West Main Street in the borough. Miller said there is another 2,000 square feet of space available for two additional tenants.

He said the building needed a new exterior, new roof, electric, HVAC, paving, flooring and drywall to get it ready for occupancy.

“Basically we had to gut the interior and exterior and start over. It had good bones (a good structural shell), but beyond that everything else was beyond its useful life, so we removed it and started over,” Miller added.

Borough Councilman Bob Myers, also a former mayor, has been vocal in the past about making the former Birdsboro Market location a viable retail site again, and last year launched a petition drive to urge a grocery store to locate there. While the location ultimately didn’t work for a grocery chain, Myers said he’s “absolutely delighted” to see Dollar General opening.

“I think they will be a great complement to the commercial development that our community is experiencing,” he said.

The opening of the Dollar General is the latest in a series of business activities in the borough.

Construction is underway on Boyer’s Food Market on land adjacent to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Boyer’s Food Markets has entered into an agreement with MB Investments, the real estate investment arm of JP Mascaro, to locate the full-service market on five acres of land purchased from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by MB Investments. The Shops at St. Marks Place are being built off of West First Street and will include space for two additional retailers.

The borough’s second — and largest — bridge replacement project is nearing completion. Borough manager Aaron Durso said he expects the new Route 345 span to open Aug. 15.

On Monday, a public hearing is scheduled at borough hall to discuss the designation of the Armorcast Redevelopment Area. The redevelopment area includes 124 properties in a large area around the Armorcast property the borough would like develop. Durso said council can vote on the measure during its regular meeting Monday night. The public hearing begins at 6 p.m., followed by the council meeting at 7 p.m.

“We are taking the downtown area and making it business friendly,” Durso said. “We’re getting a good reputation. “We have shown that we care and want them (businesses) to be here.”

Dollar General is based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., and has more than 10,000 stores in 40 states. Miller Bros. Construction Inc. is located in Schuylkill Haven.