The Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association is reporting that Walmart has purchased property in the 1700 block of East Hillsborough Avenue to build a store.
Seminole Heights already has a Walmart Neighborhood Market at 8885 N Florida Ave.
Neighbors, who previously opposed the development of a Family Dollar Store, already are sounding the alarm about the potential of a second Walmart.
Wrote Ingrid Jacoba on the Facebook Page, No Family Dollar Store Seminole Heights:
":-( ALERT : WALMART in SH? Going in at 19th and Hillsborough and not a peep from the nghbrhood groups sounding an alert that the nightmare of bigbox stores is about to darken the Seminole Heights."
The news has created a lively debate in the Seminole Heights community of urban pioneers, many of whom make a point to shop at locally owned independent stores.
Wrote Cara Greenblatt Davis on the Facebook Page, No Family Dollar Store Seminole Heights:
"But there will always be people in any neighborhood who are "big box" shoppers. Should we be self contained for everyone but them?"
Added Rick Fifer to the discussion:
"I am not against big boxes. But I also don't the equivalent of State Road 60 or Lumstead in Brandon. Or north Dale Mabry or Bruce B Downs."
The community's "UnOfficial Seminole Heights Blog" weighed in, describing it as "a good thing" for the neighborhood:
"Imagine being able to rely solely on retailers within a 1 mile radius. The Chevy dealership has sat vacant for years. This could be a catalyst that starts the Hillsborough Ave redevelopment. While I personally would have preferred a Lowe’s, I would like almost anything better than the current state."
Status of the Development
A timetable has not been given for the store's construction. But the developer has won some early variances that allow for the pre-site work to begin.
The property, which has been used by Autoway Chevrolet Dealership, has won permission from the city of Tampa to build access driveways and to install a traffic light on East Hillsborough Avenue.
Tampa's publc works department approved the following:
- Walmart will build two separate driveways on 19th street – one for truck access and the other for customers. The access road for trucks is away from residential areas to the north, the home owners' associaton said.
- Walmart also is being allowed to develop two driveways on Mohawk. One is an access road for customers and the other is a turnaround before vehicles neter the driveway.
- The city also is letting Walmart install a traffic signal at 19th Street and Hillsborough Avenue as a safety upgrade.