Klamath Falls, Ore. – A major retailer wants to buy a blighted property from Klamath County to put in a store in downtown Klamath Falls, but not everyone is on board with the idea.
The old Medo-Bel building was abandoned in the 1980s, and was acquired by Klamath County through foreclosure in 2015.
Rick Vaughn serves as Property Manager in Klamath County’s Tax Collectors office. “A couple months ago, they [Dollar General] had made a… sent a letter of intent–unsolicited–and offered $200,000 for the property as-is,” he said
But Klamath Falls Downtown Association President Nicolas Phair is concerned that a Dollar General could jeopardize the success of a Holiday Market grocery store moving into the downtown area. He said, “They need to come in and feel like they’re able to really succeed, and not have any of that market share taken away from them.” Phair also said he’s concerned about keeping downtown locally owned. “For the economics of local dollars being spent and then re-used locally as well, instead of any kind of a big box chain store.”
Klamath County Commissioner Donnie Boyd doesn’t think Dollar General would get in the way of Holiday Market’s success. “I have been up front and open with the owners of Holiday Markets,” said Commissioner Boyd. “They think that if anything, it would not damage their business at all, In fact, it might even augment their business a little bit.”
The Commissioners will address the Dollar General issue during a work session Wednesday. “Our main reason we’d love to meet with the commissioners is to talk about what other options maybe there are,” Phair said. “Let’s shake the trees a little bit, and make sure there’s not a better fit for that location.”
Dollar General already has a store in Merrill, and one under construction in Chiloquin. The retailer is also considering putting in a store in the Stewart-Lenox area just west of Klamath Falls.