Family Dollar seeks to open JP store

October 8, 2012
By

WASHINGTON ST.—Family Dollar, a national discount-goods chain, is the proposed tenant for a new store to be built at 3383 Washington St., the former location of Royal Fried Chicken, according to a spokesperson for the North Carolina-based company.

“We do currently have a lease signed for that location,” Family Dollar Communication Director Josh Braverman said in an email to the Gazette, adding that the projected opening date is in the first half of next year.

A Washington Street Business Group flyer announced  a City-sponsored meeting about the plan for abutting property owners tomorrow, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. at Doyle’s Cafe, 3484 Washington St. The Gazette was unable to get immediate confirmation from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS), which is listed as the meeting organizer. ONS frequently arranges abutters’ meetings for projects.

Attorney James Krumsiek, the registered agent for RTP Washington Street LLC, which City records identify as the property’s owner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 7,350-square-foot property includes a large L-shaped building and a parking lot. The lot has signs for a Zipcar car rental location, but that site is no longer active, according to Zipcar spokesperson C.J. Himberg. The lot also contains an advertising billboard.

Family Dollar has several Boston locations, including in Dorchester, East Boston and South Boston. It also has locations in such Greater Boston cities as Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett and Somerville.

Family Dollar is known for selling variety goods, including household items and groceries, at bargain prices. The chain is doing booming business in the struggling economy and is expanding rapidly, according investor reports on its website at corporate.familydollar.com. But, according to news reports, Family Dollar is also facing increased resistance from communities that cite fears of lowered property values and increased traffic. Major community controversies about new Family Dollar stores were boiling last month in Atlanta and the town of Carrboro in the chain’s home state of North Carolina.

“In this economy, when it seems like saving money is the new normal, our value and convenience are a welcome addition to many communities,” Braverman said. “It is unfortunate that some communities do not understand our brand and our promise to the community. We operate small stores that are often the hub of a community and we work hard to build partnerships in the neighborhoods we serve.”

He said Family Dollar stores usually have eight to 10 employees and that the store aims to hire people from the community.

Royal Fried Chicken opened in 2008. It is unclear when it closed. The interior appears to have undergone recent construction work.

Updated version: This story has been updated with confirmation and comment from Family Dollar and Zipcar.

The building and parking lot at 3383 Washington St., where a new Family Dollar store reportedly is being proposed. (Gazette Photo by John Ruch)