The revitalization of Florida Avenue is an ongoing process and is close to the hearts of many Seminole Heights residents. Now, a corporate retail giant which appears to be moving into the neighborhood has those hearts racing with discontent.
Five hundred sixty four people thus far have liked the No Family Dollar Seminole Heights Facebook page and a website has been created solely for the purpose of educating and informing local residents on the progress of the fight to keep the chain "box store" out of a neighborhood many want to see continue its historic restoration.
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The Official Unoffical Seminole Heights blog page is currently flooded with comments on the issue, some outraged by the lack of local flavor a Family Dollar will bring to the neighborhood, others unable to comprehend what the issue is.
"I know we all like to think we are so important, but is the property zoned for the Dollar store? If it is we don’t have anything to say about it! Also on the plus side it will create some employment in the neighborhood," one commenter said.
Another user named Woodrow Smits weighed in with this: "Family Dollar will be a great addition to the neighborhood. They offer a wide variety of products at reasonable prices, which is just what people living in depressed neighborhoods need during these tough economic times."
But the majority of residents giving serious attention to the issue are not at all pleased by the prospect of the property at 5100 North Florida Avenue (big white building, north of The Independent) becoming a chain retailer of goods often made outside of the United States.
"There are 4 of these less than two miles away from here. This is a major step back for Seminole Heights, and all the homeowners adjacent to this. Absolutely horrible. A slap in the face, and discouraging to those that are actually investing in the area," one comment said.
A post on the Facebook page cites facts about Family Dollar jobs, the effect the retailer has on commercial property and local home values and most importantly, the downside of not sticking with locally owned mom and pop shops. Some simply point to the fact that poorly maintained Family Dollar locations already exist in the area and they don't understand the need for another store.
A Tampa Bay Times article outlined a meeting that took place last Sunday at The Refinery in which local residents voiced their concerns and created ways to get organized for a movement against Family Dollar. The article notes racial and socio-economic tension in the discussion, although many in attendance felt that view was skewed.
A comment on the Seminole Heights blog site confirmed that some may be taking it that way, however.
"You can’t stop a business just because it doesn’t your socio-economic ideal. There is not a legal leg to stand on," the comment read.
Whether it's a fear of low quality foreign made merchandise being pumped out of a storefront that doesn't fit the character of the neighborhood and is likely to be slovenly kept or a general concern for the business structure of Seminole Heights, the movement against Family Dollar continues to pick up steam.
Read complete coverage of the Family Dollar issue here. This page include links to other Seminole Heights Patch articles, various local news reports, community links as well as coverage from other cities that have fought Family Dollar.
We want to know what you think. Is another Family Dollar store at the 5100 North Florida Avenue location bad for Seminole Heights? Tell us in the comments section below.
Latest Seminole Heights Patch coverage:
- Blog Post: An Open Letter to 'No Family Dollar' Movement
- No Family Dollar Movement Turns Out For WTSP Broadcast
- Local Businesses Angered Over Addition of New Family Dollar
- City: Family Dollar Is Entitled To New Store
- Is Family Dollar Bad for Seminole Heights?
- Map of existing nearby Family Dollar stores
- How to get involved in the 'No Family Dollar' Movement
Other local news coverage:
- Times: Tampa neighborhood wants to block Family Dollar from opening
- ABC Action News: Family Dollar store not welcome in increasingly lively Seminole Heights
- TBO.com: Family Dollar plan upsets some Seminole Heights residents
- WTSP: Seminole Heights residents try to block Family Dollar store from opening
- Bay News 9: Big box vs. mom and pop: Evictions handed out, Family Dollar moving in
Family Dollar news from around the country:
- Palm Harbor Family Dollar Zoning Denied
- Norcross, GA: City Council Denies Family Dollar Zoning Request
- Carborro, NC,: Family Dollar proposal denied
If you're looking to get involved in the 'No Family Dollar Movement,' Seminole Heights Patch has compliled the following info:
- Join: Seminole Heights Residents for Equality and Discourse Facebook Page
- Join: No Family Dollar Facebook Page
- Check out the website,NoFamillyDollar.com
You can pick up 'No Family Dollar' yard signs at the following local businesses, according to NoFamilyDollar.com:
- Microgroove, 4906 North Florida Avenue
- Sherry's Yesterdaze Vintage Clothing and Antiques, 5207 North Florida Avenue
- Velo Champ, 6112 North Central Avenue
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly estimated the location of the address of the proposed site.