Is Family Dollar Bad For Seminole Heights?

The Seminole Heights community faces a daunting question between character and convenience.

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 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 between Cappy's and 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.

. 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.

More links:

Latest Seminole Heights Patch coverage:

  • Blog Post: 

Other local news coverage:

Family Dollar news from around the country:

If you're looking to get involved in the 'No Family Dollar Movement,' Seminole Heights Patch has compliled the following info:


Yard signs:

You can pick up 'No Family Dollar' yard signs at the following local businesses, according to NoFamilyDollar.com:

  • , 4906 North Florida Avenue
  • , 5207 North Florida Avenue
  • , 6112 North Central Avenue

joe julius September 05, 2012 at 12:46 PM
everyone screaming about family dollar not being local and taking money away from the community (don't get me wrong, i strongly oppose another family dollar anywhere in seminole heights) but how many of the new 'local' mom and pops are residents of seminole heights or even tampa? it's my understanding that the owner of the independent lives in st pete and the owner of the 'coming soon' red rock star does not live in tampa either, someone told me he lives in plant city.... not sure about domani, but i think south tampa.... so there seems to be quite a few of 'carpetbaggers' moving into seminole heights motivated by the possible profits from our community only to take this money outside of the community.... i know sherry at yesterdaze is a seminole heights resident, but what about the others that are coming into the area? no seems to mind their money leaving the area with these folks and i do admit they do bring an improvement to the neighborhood...
Carolyn Simpson October 04, 2012 at 09:46 PM
When was the property sold to Family Dollar?
Sharon Short January 11, 2013 at 05:15 PM
FYI...The FamilyDollar is NOT going between Cappy's and The Independant. It is going in the block of Florida Ave, North of the Independant (North of Wilder Ave).
Sharon Short January 11, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Chris...If you are with the Patch, will you please correct the description of the location of the new Family Dollar to the right location? It is NOT located between the Independant and Cappy's. It is actually just NORTH of the the Independant on the SW corner of Florida Ave and Wilder Ave. Thanks, Sharon
Chris Taylor January 15, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Thanks, Sharon Short, for pointing out that we placed the location a bit too far south in this early article on the topic. I made a correction and added a note. Thanks again!


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