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Dollar General's plan to move into the Third Ward faces great opposition

Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 23:25:09-04

A convenience store chain's plan to move into Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward faced great opposition Thursday night at a public meeting.

Dollar General wants to open its next store in a 4,800 square foot space on North Broadway St., right next to The Wicked Hop, but a majority who spoke at the meeting said they don't think it belongs there.

Around a hundred people who live, work or own businesses in the Third Ward filled the public market for an intense discussion on whether to allow Dollar General into the neighborhood.

Jesse Mendelsohn has lived in the Third Ward for the nearly a decade. He said residents in the area desperately need another convenience store.

"Maybe selfishly, but I have no place where I can get batteries or paper towels, especially later in the evening or early in the morning," said Mendelsohn.

Most spoke against allowing Dollar General to obtain a food and liquor license in the area, including Catherine Donnelly who owns a mixed-use building down the block.

"I think we need boutiques that are here to bring people into the neighborhood," she said. "We need a draw for the neighborhood."

Dollar General representatives at the meeting said it wouldn't be a typical Dollar General store, rather one of their new upscale shops called DGX. Jessica Mayo describes it as a small urban market that offers food and supplies for those who live in the neighborhood.

"We want to be your 'one stop shop' for everyday essentials that you need in a pinch," said Mayo.

Ald. Bob Bauman represents the Third Ward. He said the plan won't get his vote.

"I do not support these licenses but that's not the end of the day because there's a full council out there," he said.

Dollar General's next hurdle will be getting approval from a common council committee followed by the full council.

The store would be the first DGX in Wisconsin.