October 8 2020

Dollar Tree Negotiates Signage for New Cambridge Street Location

By: Rich Hosford

A discount retail chain is in the process of occupy a long-vacant space. 

Dollar Tree was before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday night for a signage hearing for 180 Cambrdge Street. The property is the empty space next to Shaw’s that had previously been occupied by Busa Wine & Spirits before it moved to the Crossroads Plaza and then subsequently closed. 

Dollar Tree, Inc. is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells items for $1 or less, its Wikipedia entry states. Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, it is a Fortune 500 company and operates over 15,000 stores in the United States and Canada.

The issue at the ZBA meeting was about the size of the signage and what types of lighting it would employ. Attorney Mark Vaughan of Riemer and Braunstein, represented Dollar Tree, Shaw’s the Shaw’s parent company Albertsons Companies. Shaw’s/Albertsons is the property owner so were involved in the proceedings. 

Vaughan presented a couple of options to the board for their review. He said they were requesting 30-inch letters that had internal lights. After some discussion members of the board said they would prefer “gooseneck” lights that are above the letters and shine down on them. Alternatively, they said a 24-inch sign with internal lighting would also be acceptable. 

Vaughan said the purpose of signage is to let people navigate to a business and they have to be able to see the signs for this to work. 

“We feel the sign would be difficult to be seen with external illumination, it’s the length of a football field from Winn Street,” he said. “The purpose of signage is, not in a garish manner, to safely guide motorists to a destination. I think the 30-inch sign is large enough to do that.”

Members of the board, however, said they thought a 30-inch sign with internal lighting would not fit the characteristics of the downtown area. 

In the end they settled on a 30-inch sign with six gooseneck lights.

The signage was approved with two conditions. The first was that Dollar Tree honor a condition of a previous occupant and complete the facade on the side of the building facing Cambridge Street. The second had to do with a sign on the Shaw’s building for Osco Pharmacy. Members said that when Shaw’s signage was approved in 2003 there was no sign for Osco in the plans. They conditioned the Dollar Tree signage on Shaw’s/Albertsons getting that sign into compliance. 

Dollar Tree representatives said they plan to open in mid-November.


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