SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Despite a spirited effort by residents, business owners and hundreds of protesters on Facebook to block it, a Family Dollar is scheduled to open here in two months.
"It's a done deal, whether the residents of Sem(inole) Heights like it or not. They have already begun renovations,'' one of the leading opponents, Michelle Baker of the Refinery restaurant, said in an email.
Indeed, the parking lot is newly painted, some landscaping has been added and scaffolding is up on an exterior wall of the building at 5100 N Florida Ave.
The opponents complained on their website — nofamilydollar.com — that the discount chain store would bring down residential property values, "derailing our efforts to encourage local and vital development that fits the historic neighborhood.''
Josh Braverman, spokesman for Family Dollar, said the store, with 7,500 square feet, will open by the end of February. He said corporate executives have communicated with local residents and business owners, and addressed local concerns about parking and other matters. He said the store intends to be a "good community partner.''
Braverman said during the height of the protests in August that people have a misconception about "who we are and what we do.''
"We're really doing a lot of work to update our brand, refresh our brand, and I'd love for the folks out there in Seminole Heights to let us show them what we can do."