OCEAN PARK — Less than a year after a proposed store was scrapped in downtown Long Beach, it appears a Dollar General store will be coming to the Long Beach Peninsula after all.
Once open for business, the store will be located in Ocean Park at the former Oman & Son location, which temporarily closed at the beginning of the pandemic before permanently closing in early 2021.
Dollar General is currently advertising a job opening for a manager for the new store.
Earlier this year, the company opened a store in South Bend in a newly constructed building on the Willapa River estuary waterfront. It has been on an aggressive expansion drive nationwide, providing consumers with lower price points on groceries and other products, often by packaging them in smaller quantities. Many of its offerings aren’t literally priced at a dollar.
Oman & Son locationThe former Oman & Son location at 25312 Vernon Ave. in Ocean Park sat vacant throughout much of 2020, after the company shuttered the store on March 17 of that year “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our employees, customers and community.”
On Jan. 7 of this year, the Oman family announced that the Ocean Park store was permanently closing, saying in a statement that a number of factors contributed in the decision to close it for good: The covid-19 pandemic, rising business expenses and increased competition from e-commerce companies and big-box retailers.
The family said the decision to close the store would not result in any layoffs for employees, and that the closure would allow the company “to consolidate and streamline many redundant areas of our business to our Long Beach store,” while continuing to serve the entirety of the Long Beach Peninsula and expand on their free delivery service.
“We are confident that this decision is the best decision for the long-term success and future growth of our local business,” the family said in a statement.
Dollar General set to take over spaceOman & Son owner Steve Oman confirmed to the Observer that a Dollar General store will be opening at the Ocean Park location, but said the Oman family is unaffiliated with the business operations.
“Our relationship is strictly landlord-tenant,” Oman said.
Oman said they were initially approached by Dollar General, which was interested in purchasing the property of the former Oman & Son location. The two sides eventually came to an agreement on a lease, he said.
“The corporation was clearly intent on moving into this market,” Oman said, “and this location in Ocean Park is certainly favorable to the [former] proposed location on the Bolstad beach approach in my opinion.”
Dollar General appeared all set for construction of a store to begin at a large, vacant lot on Bolstad Avenue West in Long Beach. The Long Beach City Council had approved a design review for the proposed store last fall on a narrow 3-2 vote, which paved the way for the applicants to obtain a building permit.
The planned store in the heart of Long Beach drew substantial pushback from the public, particularly local business owners who said that the store would have a negative effect on the area’s small businesses. Other speakers contended that the store, and where it was located, would harm the city’s image and branding.
But Long Beach City Administrator David Glasson told councilors at a Jan. 13 meeting that the proposed development would not be moving forward after all. At that meeting, Glasson said the developer’s representatives were still looking for a lot in the area to open a store, but hadn’t identified one at that time.
The Observer will have more coverage on the store as developments continue.