WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Wash and WiFi, the town's only laundromat, closed Sunday to make way for a new Dollar General.
A sign posted on the door late last week notified customers the store would close for good Sunday at 9 p.m. and thanked them for their patronage.
While waiting for her clothes to wash Friday, Williamstown resident Lilly Rosene expressed her disappointment over the business closing.
"I was shocked when I saw the sign on the door," she said. "I like coming here," she said. "It's quiet and well-kept. I can use the computer while I wait."
Williamstown Town Planner Andrew Groff said the building at 384 Main St., owned by James Shane, of Mainwill Associates LLC, will be renovated to accommodate a new Dollar General.
Mainwill Associates has already received approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Conservation Commission, Groff said. The rear of the building will be expanded to accept deliveries, he said.
Also at the site is a Subway restaurant, which will stay, and Royal Cleaners, a drop-off dry-cleaning business, Groff said. Wash and WiFi had been in business at that location since 2010.
According to the Dollar General website, the Tennessee-based chain offers a variety of goods at discount prices. Other locations include a store in Adams and Pownal, Vt.
Williamstown resident Jeff Kurpaska, owner of Royal Cleaners, said he and Shane previously discussed the possibility of having a combined business somewhere in Williamstown. But finding a space to accommodate such a business was difficult, he said.
"There's very few spaces in Williamstown or North Adams that can really hold that kind of joint business," he explained.
The most promising space, Kurpaska said, wouldn't have been ready in time.
"We pretty much would have had to have something in place right around now," he said.
Kurpaska said Royal Cleaners would move into a space at the Colonial Plaza, at 242 Main St., after being in business at the 384 Main St. location since 2010.
Attempts to reach Shane were unsuccessful.
Jennifer Civello, executive director of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, said the arrival of Dollar General comes at a time when the landscape of Williamstown is changing -- the conversation on affordable housing raises questions about where people will shop.
"I'm hoping that people can be receptive to change," she said.
But some residents, like Rosene, still aren't pleased about the laundromat closing. The service is an important piece of the community, she said.
"It's very necessary for college students, and people who don't have their own washer or dryer," she said. "A lot of college students come to do their laundry here. Where are they going to go?"
To reach Edward Damon, email