A Family Dollar store is planned in the former Southworth auto dealership building at 5 Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford.

The franchise has applied to the town's Zoning Commission to change the use of the property from an auto dealer and repair shop to a retail store in 8,325 square feet of the 12,000-square-foot building.

Southworth closed in March 2012 at the site, more than 60 years after first opening.

Since then, the building temporarily held a retail Halloween store, and outdoor pool and spa sales events occurred in the southern end of the parking lot.

The Halloween store -- famous for its painting of the entire building a bright orange -- closed Nov. 15, 2013.

Now that a possible tenant has been found for the building, the outdoor pool and spa sales would be discontinued, according to the zoning application.

Family Dollar is being represented before the Zoning Commission by Commercial Services Realty LLC in Rocky Hill.

Interior building renovations and exterior facade improvements are proposed.

The parking lot layout would be restriped to 87 spaces.

No use is proposed for the remaining 3,675 square feet of the building.

Family Dollar recently closed 370 stores of its 8,100-store chain in 46 states due to revenue decline. The company's turn-around plan is to drop prices on 1,000 items carried in its stores and slowing expansion, according to an April news release.

Family Dollar is based in Matthews, N.C.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322