NEWBORN - Dollar General has pulled out of plans to locate in Newborn.
The president of the development group representing Dollar General wrote a letter to the Newton County Planning and Development Department, which handles planning and zoning for Newborn, giving notice of the withdrawal on Tuesday, just one day before a public hearing was set to take place before the Newborn Planning Commission.
"Due to the requirements presented to us by the planning department we have canceled our contract to purchase property in Newton County. Dollar General, at this time, will not support a store in the town of Newborn," said the letter from Bob Broadway, president of The Broadway Group of Huntsville, Ala.
Newborn Planning Commission Chairman Ted Sheldon said the news came as a surprise, since the town gave specifications for the project to Dollar General and Broadway back in February.
"We were surprised that at the last minute, they pulled out," he said. "Maybe they will reconsider. We hope they will. A lot of work went into this, and we were looking forward to having a business relationship with them."
Dollar General was targeting a piece of property next to Bess's Place restaurant at 4049 Ga. Highway 142. It would have been the first commercial venture in the town since 2001.
Newborn officials were requesting that the building comply with the design motif of the town, with an all-brick exterior, a front porch with columns and all black lettering for the sign. The developer would have also been required to pave and widen a road running between Bess's Place and the store.
"I don't think our specifications were so outlandish. They knew from the get-go what we wanted," Sheldon said.
The property was rezoned to neighborhood commercial in 2006, with the understanding that the adjacent lot could be used for additional parking but any other use would require a conditional use permit from the Town Council.
A public hearing was set to take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Newborn Town Hall before the Newborn Planning Commission, but was canceled after the withdrawal letter was received.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.