By Kevin Collison
DGX, Dollar General’s new urban store concept, is coming to the Crossroads as part of the City Club Apartment development at 20th and Main.
A 4,800 square-foot store that will offer a variety of products including grab-and-go foods, home cleaning supplies, home decor, electronics, pet supplies, paper products, coffee and fresh fruits and vegetables will be located on the streetcar line at 1979 Main.
It’s part of the $76.8 million City Club development now under construction that includes 283-unit luxury apartments, a rooftop pool, restaurant and 299 underground parking spaces.
Jonathan Holtzman, CEO of Detroit-based City Club Apartments, said the new DGX store should be open in a couple of months and will fill a major retail need for downtown residents and workers.
“Kansas City, like a lot of cities, had been experiencing a downward trend in retail,” he said. You’ve built office buildings and apartment buildings, but you have missing parts.
“Where do I get a birthday card? Where do I get Pampers? Where do I get food for my cat or dog? These are important things if we’re going to get Kansas City headed on the right path.
“I think this store is very important in filling-in the gap. I think they’ll be very successful.”
The DGX concept has been rolled out by Dollar General in multiple downtowns in recent years beginning with Nashville, and followed by Raleigh, N.C., Philadelphia, Cleveland, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Omaha and Columbus.
It represents a big step in bringing back retail, particularly day-to-day service retail important to residents, as part of the revival of downtown Kansas City.
“It’s really important to get a national retailer like DGX that’s opening in growing downtown markets and recognizes downtown Kansas City as a growing market that they need to get into,” said Tommy Wilson, economic development manager for the Downtown Council.
Wilson said the new store will provide a much-needed shopping opportunity to the growing downtown population, estimated to reach 30,000 people within the next couple years, and particularly the Crossroads District.
“It will be a great amenity for the Crossroads and it will benefit all of downtown, it’s right on the streetcar line,” he said.
“It’s exciting and I hope we have more national and local retailers joining them really soon.”
One of the most sought after downtown retail prospects is an urban Target. The smaller Targets were originally called CityTarget when first rolled out in 2012, but the retail giant dropped the separate name in 2015, according to its website.
Wilson believes downtown Kansas City is on Target’s radar.
“I keep hearing they’re talking and looking, and I think we’re getting to the population level they’d be attracted to,” he said.
The new DGX store isn’t as big as a potential Target, but it does cover much of the same shopping territory.
“We can’t get the city Target or a smaller-scale Wal-Mart yet,” Holtzman said. “We don’t have that density…this is like a mini-version of a complete store.
“They (Dollar General) have a brilliant business model and we’re fortunate they saw the direction of Kansas City and its success.
“We didn’t subsidize them, it’s an arm’s length transaction. It shows you’ve reached the tipping point…mass transit and all the things the city did to encourage development is working.”
Dollar General plans to open 20 new DGX stores in fiscal year 2020, according to the company’s website.
“We are excited for the opportunity to serve downtown communities and city-dwellers with the essentials they need in a convenient, easy-to-shop format through our DGX store,” Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and development, said in a statement on the website.
“We look forward to the opportunity to serve metropolitan customers in exciting downtown living environments with value and convenience on quality products.”
Holtzman said the City Club Apartments should be ready for its first residents within a couple of months and the entire development should be completed by early summer. A leasing office is now open at 1989 Main.
He also expected a wine bar and restaurant will be announced for the development in the “very near future.”
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.