Protesters work to prevent the Family Dollar from opening in Seminole Heights
Tampa, Florida-- The signs are clear.
No. No. No Family Dollar in Seminole Heights.
People in this Tampa historic district are trying to block the discount retailer from opening on this stretch of Florida Avenue -- booming with boutique business.
Greg Baker is a James Beard nominated chef, and the owner of The Refinery. His restaurant has won numerous awards, and Baker says Family Dollar doesn't fit the neighborhood.
"We don't see any benefit to the area right now," said Baker.
Cleanse Apothecary is another award winning business, and owner Greg Curtis says Family Dollar's arrival could stop cold the area's resurgence.
The opposition has some teeth. They have a website, a facebook and twitter page, and even legal counsel. They argue Family Dollar already has three stores in the area within two miles of each other, including this one on Nebraska.
"If you take a look at their properties, they are not well maintained," said Curtis.
Family Dollar released this statement without addressing the controversy.
It reads in part quote - "Family Dollar is proud to be a neighborhood store and we look forward to becoming a positive part of this great community" - end quote.
The city's zoning office approved the project, saying little can be done to stop it because the city is following the law, and so is Family Dollar.
"We strictly follow the codes set by the city of Tampa," said Tom Snelling, director of Tampa planning and development.