Make us your home page
Instagram

Bid to keep Family Dollar out of Tampa's Seminole Heights fails

TAMPA — Two Seminole Heights business owners have made a failed bid to buy out a nearby building where a Family Dollar store is slated to open.

The unique proposal was the latest move in a growing neighborhood protest against the national discount chain's plans to open a store at 5100 N Florida Ave.

More than 770 people have opposed the store on a Facebook page. The movement also has attracted local TV news coverage, including during a late-night rally Thursday that included protesters waving "No Family Dollar" signs.

Business leaders in Seminole Heights, Tampa's first neighborhood, say the area has been redeveloping over the past two decades with an emphasis on historic preservation and locally owned businesses.

They started the campaign late last month after a Family Dollar developer bought a white warehouse building that is sandwiched on a strip among three locally owned restaurants, a bakery, a salon and boutiques.

Opponents claim the store does not fit because its corporation sends profits out of the community to its North Carolina headquarters, pays employees low wages and would become the sixth Family Dollar store within 3 miles of the planned location.

This week, owners of the Refinery restaurant and the Independent pub reported that their offer to buy the property from Family Dollar was rejected by Hunt Real Estate of Tampa, which represents the chain store.

They noted that they offered to buy the property for more than what Family Dollar had paid and even offered to pay for any development or permitting costs the chain has spent to date.

"We were absolutely serious," Independent owner Veronica Vellines said Friday. "We met with the developer and we said, 'Would you consider other tenants or would you consider selling the property to us or anyone else who approached you.?' "

Vellines said no numbers were discussed, but developers took about five days to consider the offer.

The rejection of the offer was also posted on the "No Family Dollar" Facebook page and signed by Michelle Baker, a co-owner of the Refinery and a Seminole Heights resident.

"We gave them a deal that would be foolish to refuse," the post said. "The war is not over. It has just begun. Call city council, call the mayor's office. Call everyone you think may listen and continue to call. More 'No Family Dollar' signs are now available at The Independent, Sherry's Yesterdaze, Micro Groove, and Velo Champ. Walk next door and tell your neighbors. Direct them to this page and to the website. The louder our voice is, the better."

Chris Salemi, a partner at Hunt Real Estate, declined to comment. Josh Braverman, a Family Dollar spokesman, said he was unaware of the offer. He said Family Dollar plans to work with residents and business owners to appease their concerns and refute perceptions about the store.

"It's unfortunate that the folks out there might have a misconception about Family Dollar and who we are and what we do," he said. "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."

Justin George can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3368.

Bid to keep Family Dollar out of Tampa's Seminole Heights fails 08/10/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]