Oldest town in for a discount

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BATH — Between 2000 and 2010, the Town of Bath saw many homes built on the shores of the creek, even as its population dropped by 26 people.

Now, the town will have a new addition, one likely not readily associated with the oldest town in North Carolina: a Family Dollar.

Though months in the making, according to Bath Commissioner John Taylor, Monday saw the first activity on the N.C. Highway 92 (Carteret Street) lot that will eventually become the chain discount store.

Like any commercial chain, uniformity determines the outward appearance, thereby making the brand of Family Dollar recognizable. However, as the first commercial chain to set up shop in the historic town, Bath’s Family Dollar will look a bit different as required by town ordinances — it has to fit in with the historic character of the town.

“As you recall, some time back the site plan was approved, however, there were a number of policies and ordinances that they needed to comply with,” said Town Administrator Bubs Carson during an update to Bath’s town council Monday night.

The ordinances require buildings within Bath’s business district to be harmonious with the historic town.

While most Family Dollars have a light brick exterior with a tan standing seam metal façade housing the Family Dollar logo, representatives from the chain store have been working with Carson and Town Attorney Chip Edwards Jr. to modify the design.

Carson said the store’s exterior brick will be a deep red color, as opposed to the lighter brick. The standing seam metal façade will be eliminated in favor of a brick parapet.

Edwards called attention to another item of distinction in architectural design: mortar color. The tan-colored mortar, as opposed to a more common white or gray, picked by the Family Dollar contractor will tone down the design, Edwards said.

“This is a work in progress,” Carson explained. “We’re required to sign off on this because these are the ordinances we’ve adopted. Our goal is to come up with a building that is much more in keeping with our historic character.”

As a reminder, Carson pointed out to the council that any issue with traffic on Carteret Street as a result of Family Dollar construction and operation should be directed to NCDOT, as the road is a state highway and not within the jurisdiction of the Town of Bath.