Dollar Tree opening in former Rite Aid

A nationally known discount chain, Dollar Tree, is moving into the old Rite Aid location on North Fifth Street.

The Virginia-based chain confirmed the decision, saying the 10,787-square-foot store is scheduled to open in late January.

“I’m excited, especially for the people who live downtown,” City Manager Jim Mavromatis said. “So many residents have to walk, they don’t have cars. It will be (good) for them. Of course, losing Rite Aid meant we lost a pharmacy and that’s difficult, but it will be a good thing for the downtown to have a Dollar Tree store, it’s perfect for downtown.”

With the opening, Dollar Tree will have three stores in the immediate area — two in Steubenville and the third in Weirton. Kayleigh M. Painter, investor and media relations manager for the Virginia-based chain, said going forward, they “plan to operate all three stores.”

Sixth Ward Councilman Bob Villamagna, who chairs the city’s economic development committee, said crews already are working inside the former pharmacy at 138 N. Fifth St., which closed in August.

The idea of a nationally recognized chain coming into downtown Steubenville “sounds really good,” he added.

“It reinforces the positive outlook for the downtown,” Mayor Jerry Barilla said, adding he’s happy to have the storefront occupied, “although I would have preferred another drugstore or small grocery store.”

Dollar Tree stores are open seven days a week and offer merchandise priced at $1 or less, with selections ranging from seasonal decor; household products; party and craft supplies to dinnerware; food; teaching and school supplies; health and beauty items; toys; and books.

Fourth Ward Councilman Scott Dressel said it’s another sign the downtown business district is back.

“I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “It’s good because it keeps things active. We don’t want buildings to be empty.”