Downtown Staunton: Too good for a Dollar General?

StauntonWow, Staunton can be so full of itself.

Latest case in point: there’s apparently murmuring around town about how Dollar General has interest in a downtown location, and, well, that just can’t be!

The News Leader has a detailed article explaining how, actually, it can be, which, duh, right?

The article is worth a read, because it lays out the process for how a business goes through the steps of getting approval from a locality, specific to Staunton, of course, in this instance, but still, good stuff here, in terms of explaining something you don’t normally think all the way through.

The premise, though: damn.

Dollar General is … well, it’s Dollar General, but, no, it wouldn’t be any better if it were Whole Foods, in the sense that, ohmygod, a chain store in downtown.

The other side of this: would you prefer empty buildings?

I remember my grandfather taking me shopping in Downtown Staunton for basketball shoes back in the mid-1980s. He wanted to take me to the old A&N.

What I remember to this day, 30-some-odd years later: the empty storefronts, the broken windows.

Now, fast forward to today. I live a couple of blocks from Downtown Waynesboro. Having dinner at Heritage on Main last week, my view was of the empty old Leggett’s building across the street.

Look up eyesore in the dictionary. That’s the viewscape.

You’d prefer a local entrepreneur to try to do something with it, yes, but I know that there have been efforts by locals in that respect, and none of them have come to fruition because the numbers just haven’t added up.

If a Dollar General came in and made the numbers work, I’d be all for that, because it would be better than what we have now.

But, that’s just me, apparently.

Column by Chris Graham


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