ARLINGTON -- The sale of Arlington's Southside Café to the company that handles real estate acquisition for Dollar General was completed July 19 and the equipment that will demolish the old building to make way for the new store is on site.

Ted Bird, commercial Realtor for Hoisington Realty Inc., Bennington, said Thursday that the building was sold to Dearborn Land Investments for $360,000. Bryan Pello, of Bennington, had been the owner.

The demolition of the existing building, on the east side of Route 7A near the south end of town, should begin shortly, said Christopher Ponessi, an engineer for Speath Engineering which was part of the local and state permitting process. He said construction is believed to take between three and four months to complete.

According to the Act 250 permit, the new building will be 9,100 square feet.

The project drew negative reactions from locals when it was first brought up at a planning commission meeting. Prior to submitting an official permit application, the Zaremba Group, a company that handles permitting for Dollar General, showed the commission a preliminary design, which the dozens of locals who viewed largely said they hated. When Zaremba submitted an official application it changed the design of the building to something more aesthetically pleasing. Residents hated it less, but many objected.

The town approved the application with some modifications regarding lighting and signage. There was no Act 250 hearing as the project was considered minor by the District 8 Environmental Commission and no adjoining landowners or other stakeholders requested a hearing.

A few years ago, a Dollar General was built in Pownal off Route 7 and fit the company's typical box design. Dollar General has also been eyeing a location in Bennington. According to Bennington Planning Director Dan Monks, Dollar General has received town zoning permits to construct a store across from the former Alcaro Motors on west Main Street. Monks said the company applied for a building permit Thursday.