LANCASTER — Plans to build a 20,000-square-foot Dollar General Market at the old stockyards property on Stanford Street are on indefinite hold, officials said.
Kendal Wise, owner of Vantage Engineering in Harrodsburg, said Thursday that Dollar General Market has asked his company to stop surveying and drafting plans for the 3.35-acre site at 303 Stanford St.
Garrard County Economic Development Director Nathan Mick had hoped the market would be open by Thanksgiving but confirmed Thursday that the project is halted due to a breakdown in real estate negotiations.
At this point, Dollar General Market officials will see if they can find an alternative property to purchase, lease or rent. Mick said he hopes the project will not die.
Dollar General Market would have been the first full-service grocery store in Lancaster since Lynco ceased operations about four years ago at Pleasant Retreat Plaza.
Lancaster Mayor Brenda Powers was saddened to hear the news from a reporter Thursday.
“My heart is broken,” Powers said. “This community needed it so very badly.”
A Dollar General Market is similar to a Walmart and sells a wide variety of groceries, toiletries, household items and clothing. Though the existing Dollar General store in Pleasant Retreat Plaza ultimately would have closed as part of the deal, the market would keep all current Dollar General workers employed plus bring at least 20 new jobs to Garrard County, Mick said.
Powers said the loss of job opportunities is equally as devastating as not having a grocery store within walking distance of most Lancaster residences.
“There are people here who need to be put to work, especially the elderly who could use a part-time job to supplement their retirement incomes,” Powers said.
The good news is that even if Dollar General Market does not come to Lancaster after all, the Family Dollar next to Godfather’s Pizza on Lexington Street recently expanded its grocery department to include frozen food and a wider variety of canned and boxed goods. Powers said that is a great start but still will not be enough to make Lancaster an attractive place for new residents moving into the area. The mayor also believes Dollar General Market would have attracted business from people in Danville and Stanford.