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 jgeorge@tampabay.com 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. As St. Petersburg's Jabil Circuit broadens its business, it shrinks its name to Jabil

    Corporate

    St. Petersburg's Fortune 500 company, Jabil Circuit, informally tossed aside the "Circuit" in its name some time ago. That's because circuit board manufacturing, the company's core business for decades, has been squeezed out by a broader business agenda ranging from consumer packaging to supply chain management.

    Jabil Circuit informally dropped "Circuit" from its marketing material and signage, like at its St. Petersburg headquarters, years ago. Now it's official.
[Times file photo]
  2. Kahwa Coffee to open second drive-thru store in St. Petersburg

    Retail

    Kahwa Coffee will open its 12th location and fourth with a drive-thru in a former "farm store" in St. Petersburg.

    Kahwa Coffee will open its 12th location and fourth with a drive-thru in a former "farm store" in St. Petersburg.
[Times file photo]

  3. Target Corp. reaches $18.5 million settlement with 47 states over data breach

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Target Corp. has reached an $18.5 million settlement over a massive data breach that occurred before Christmas in 2013.

    Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve the states' probe into the discounter's massive pre-Christmas data breach in 2013. 
[Associated Press]
  4. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he's ready to invest $100 million in medical marijuana. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Google tracking real-world sales as well as online ads

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — Google already monitors your online shopping — but now it's also keeping an eye on what you're buying in real-world stores as part of its latest effort to sell more digital advertising.

     Google already monitors your online shopping - but now it's also keeping an eye on what you're buying in real-world stores as part of its latest effort to sell more digital advertising. 
[Associated Press]