Dollar Store Debacle in Seminole Heights

Boarded-up stores all around, rampant foreclosures … these are problems that go unabated in Central Tampa, but if you propose building what seems like Tampa’s 1,000th neon-blighted discount store on the 5000 Block of North Florida Avenue, you will see the people take action. Protest signs and petitions have spoken out against the Charlotte-based retail chain. Residents complain that the Family Dollar already has three stores in the area within two miles of each other, and stores like it often take advantage of the poor by price-gouging and hawking wasteful crap. Some concede that there are some “dollar stores” that keep a neat stock of merchandise and offer an affordable place to shop that’s walking distance for low-income residents. Well, it’s a moot point now. The city’s zoning office approved the project. While we can’t look into a crystal ball and predict what the new Family Dollar would be like, the battle against its construction speaks to our sense of community — and those faint whiffs of elitism that hover over “Not In My Back Yard” debates.

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