October 18, 2021

Dollar General filling lot formerly occupied by Mid-Iowa Motel

Results of city’s D&D program attracts new developer to Newton

Dollar General is expected to be built on land formerly occupied by the now demolished Mid-Iowa Motel in Newton.

The Overland Group, LLC, which is based in Missouri and has offices in Alabama, purchased the land for $155,000 in December 2019. By then it was unclear what the lot would become. The group has been involved in the development, purchases and sales of more than 600 properties in the country.

Richard Boggess, a broker associate for Birkenholz Realty, told the Newton City Council the group has constructed several retail shopping centers such as Dollar General, Home Depot, AT&T and Verizon. Councilperson Evelyn George was excited about the potential development and was curious what it would be.

By February 2021, the secret was out: Dollar General would fill the vacant lot.

Per the redevelopment agreement with the city, The Overland Group will construct approximately 9,000 square feet of retail building space “which exhibits visual interest along its primary facade” by utilizing at least two kinds of building/siding/wall-covering materials and windows.

City documents said the building permits would be issued for the new Dollar General site after March 1. Comments from city council members suggested the development project was delayed because of the pandemic. Councilperson Craig Trotter was thrilled to see the project moving forward again.

Compared to the property that had occupied the land before it, Dollar General will be a welcomed sight to Newton. Mid-Iowa Motel was purchased by the city for $200,000 in 2018 as part of its D&D program and to fulfill its goal of continued improvements to the aesthetics of First Avenue.

The lot is about one acre in size, Newton News reported in 2018, and had been valued at $236,130 at its last assessment. Mid-Iowa Motel was seen by some as a blight on the community, so demolishing the building would inevitably improve the city’s curb appeal.

The Newton Police Department had been called to the property 88 times in 2017 and received 90 calls about it in 2016. Officers had responded to various calls including disputes, domestic, disturbing the public quiet, unwanted guest, theft, drugs and harassment.

Dollar General’s completed building must have a minimum assessment of $470,000. According to Dollar General’s website, corporate owns more than 17,000 “convenient, easy-to-stop stores” in 46 states. The company says it strives to make shopping hassle-free and affordable.

The company says it has been committed to its mission of serving others since its found in 1939. Dollar General stores provide low-price “foods, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares, seasonal items, paper products and much more.”

Dollar General sells products from such brands as: Clorox, Coca-Cola, Energizer, General Mills, Hanes, Kelloggs’, Kimberly-Clark, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever and more. Private brands such as Clover Valley, Good & Smart and Studio Selection are also available.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com