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Dollar Tree plans Arlington store

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

More dollar stores are counting on customers parting with their currency.

The big three – Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree – count more than 130 area stores operating or proposed for development in Northeast Florida.

Among the latest, Dollar Tree is considering a store at the site of the former ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store at 1631 University Blvd. S., just south of Atlantic Boulevard.

The location is less than a mile from a proposed Dollar General at 6830 Atlantic Blvd., east of University Boulevard.

ABC Properties Ltd. Of Orlando owns the 1.63-acre site where a 9,973-square-foot Dollar Tree is proposed. The 7,021-square-foot building on the property would be removed. The city is reviewing concurrency for the project.

The city recently approved construction for Dollar Tree stores at 10827 Harts Road; 12123 Lem Turner Road, No. 1; and 6466 103rd St.

Dollar Tree's website, dollartree.com, shows 30 stores in the five-county area, including 21 in Duval County.

Meanwhile, Concept Development LLC of Gainesville has developed at least 18 Dollar General stores in Northeast Florida and has filed plans for at least five more stores.

Those five comprise the Atlantic Boulevard location along with a site at northeast Lem Turner Road and Clyde Drive; along Baymeadows Road, east of Goodbys Creek and west of Regina Road; along West Beaver Street near Chaffee Road; and at Florida 207 and North Street in St. Augustine.

Dollar General has at least 30 stores in Duval County and 10 more in Northeast Florida.

Family Dollar has 48 stores in Duval County and at least five more in surrounding counties.

The three companies operate about 24,000 stores throughout the U.S. and into Canada.

Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., operates more than 11,000 stores in 40 states.

Family Dollar, based in Matthews, N.C., operates more than 8,000 stores in 46 states.

Dollar Tree, based in Chesapeake, Va., operates almost 4,960 stores in 48 states and in five Canadian provinces.

CNNMoney reported in November that with the economy recovering slowly, consumers were hunting for bargains at dollar stores.

"Massive unemployment and declining wages are squeezing people out of the middle class," said Kristin Bentz, executive director at private equity firm PMG Venture Group, in the report at money.cnn.com.

"These people can't even afford Walmart now and are trading down to dollar stores," she said.

The report said sales were accelerating at discount stores Dollar General and Dollar Tree. Dollar stores were expanding their offerings, including more brand-name products and foods like meats, fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs.

And the stores intended to continue adding locations.

Family Dollar expects to open about 525 stores, and close 80, in the fiscal year that ends in August.

Dollar General plans to open about 700 new stores and remodel or relocate about 525 stores in the fiscal year that ends Feb. 1.

Dollar Tree opened 292 stores, expanded or relocated 67 and closed 10 during the first three quarters of the fiscal year. The fourth quarter and fiscal year end this month.

Courtyard Marriott renovating hotel

The Courtyard by Marriott at Flagler Center will undergo a $700,000 renovation.

Harris Construction Co. LLC will renovate the four-story, 73,140-square-foot hotel at 14402 Old St. Augustine Road.

New finishes, millwork and lobby furniture are planned. Fixtures and plumbing will be upgraded. The spa will become a boardroom.

The city approved the permit Thursday for the $705,957 project.

The courtyardjacksonvillehotel.com site says the property offers 116 rooms and four suites with 565 square feet of meeting space.

Property records show the hotel was built on 3 acres in

2007. It has a 2013 taxable value of $6 million and a 2014 market value in progress of almost $7.5 million.

Target closing Orange Park store

Minneapolis-based Target announced Friday that it will close eight U.S. stores on May 3, including the Orange Park SuperTarget at 1919 Wells Road.

The company said eligible employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to nearby Target stores.

The closures come in the wake of the well publicized data breach. It said the investigation determined that names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses were stolen from up to 70 million people.

"In light of the recent data breach, our top priority is taking care of our guests and helping them feel confident in shopping at Target," said John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a news release.

Mulligan said the company remains focused on its financial results.

"While we are disappointed in our 2013 performance, we continue to manage our business with great discipline," he said.

The company reported that "after careful consideration of each location's financial performance," it announced the plans to close the stores.

The company also has Target and SuperTarget stores in Regency, Mandarin, Ortega, St. Johns Town Center, Southside, Beach Boulevard, Southwest Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Fleming Island and Yulee.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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