Friday, August 24, 2012

Southwest Atlanta residents not keen on another Family Dollar coming to neighborhood

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM

The debate over whether discount stores should open in a neighborhood — most recently seen in Oakhurst — is now underway in southwest Atlanta, where Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin is joining with residents to oppose a new Family Dollar. Martin, the longest-serving member on council, says the store, which touts "quality products at low prices" doesn't fit the neighborhood. From a press release:

"We have worked very hard to build this corridor with businesses that compliment the community," [Martin] said. "This store location is one step backwards. In fact, we have researched Family Dollar Stores Inc.'s pattern of locating their stores in Atlanta."

There are three Family Dollar Stores on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive alone, said Martin, who through research found that no stores were located north of North Avenue in Midtown Atlanta. Sixteen locations exist in the city limits alone and more are planned.

Family Dollar Stores plans to open 450 to 500 new stores nationwide in the current fiscal year, including Atlanta's new Cascade Road store, according to the corporation. Outcry has risen in communities from New Orleans to Chapel Hill, North Carolina against the company's pattern of locating their stores in minority communities. Opposition led residents in Tampa, Florida to rally this month for a protest over the opening of a Family Dollar Store in the city's Seminole Heights community.

"We are constantly fighting businesses that aren't quality establishments and don't possess high standards," Councilman Martin said. "Just as we oppose the proliferation of liquor stores, title and pawn stores, payday loan companies and tattoo shops; we also oppose the oversaturation of discount retailers in our community. We want a business community that is diverse."

Several southwest Atlanta residents are traveling to Family Dollar's North Carolina headquarters and demanding to meet with the company's CEO. And Martin says he'll request the city "revisit its economic development plan and zoning laws to determine if parts of the city are being economically disenfranchised."

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