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Walmart Plans Seminole Heights Store

The company has purchased property on East Hillsborough Avenue, prompting a lively discussion and some concern among neighbors.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The city also is letting Walmart install a traffic signal at 19th Street and Hillsborough Avenue as a safety upgrade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
damita March 13, 2013 at 01:44 PM
This is great news! Not just because I love WalMart, but also for our community. It will create jobs, add some newness to the area, maybe some palm trees, and put us on the map even more. With this accessibility and convenience, we will be more apt to go get that special something for the house, maybe even adding to the neighborhood homes' curb appeal. Win win.
Rebecca March 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I'm not sure what to think about this. I think it's different than Family Dollar because it will at least be on a much larger road that already has bigger box stores rather than the smaller area on Florida Ave. where it's only been independent businesses, not to mention it is somewhat out of the main corridor of Seminole Heights. I certainly don't consider the Walmart Market on Florida and Busch Blvd to be in Seminole Heights (and I highly doubt Seminole Heights residents would actually consider that to be part of our neighborhood since it's practically past Sulphur Springs) so to me that argument is not relevant. I think there could be good and bad results from this. I truly hope that if it is to be, that Walmart execs will work with the neighborhood associations to ensure it will be positive for all.
steven andres March 13, 2013 at 04:03 PM
The walmart grocery isn't in seminole heights. It is near busch blvd. Totally different area. Having a new business in a vacant property is probably a good thing. Hillsborough ave is full of chain stores anyways. Better than pawn shops and tire-rim stores going in there.
Sean Duncan March 13, 2013 at 04:12 PM
I forgot how silly it is to bang my head against a wall. Let the Wal-martians have their new church. I don't have to pray there.
Philip R March 13, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Gee Seminole Heights waste line is expanding faster than mine,never knew it now stretched north to Busch Blvd. and east to 19th St.as the main artical implies and I thought I knew my neighborhood ?
Susan Long March 14, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Patch has no idea what the boundaries of SH are. They have proven it over and over again No, the Wal-Mart groceries store by Home Depot is NOT in SH. But then a huge amount of the stuff they say is in SH is not.
amber casey March 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM
I wish it was a Target!! Not a fan of Walter Martinez.

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