Dollar Tree to open Southside location

By Lauren Coleman
Outlook writer

Tallahassee’s south side is expecting a bit of an economic bomb when Dollar Tree opens in the location that Walgreens vacated last summer.
The opening, which is scheduled for February, will be the ninth Dollar Tree in Tallahassee. The store is expected to hire between 12 and 20 people, according to Dollar Tree.

Having a Dollar Tree will mean some economic reprieve for the Southside, which lost Wynn Dixie in addition to Walgreens last year.  Walgreens operated in the location at 100 E. Magnolia Dr. and South Monroe Street for 20 years before it closed.

While he wasn’t sure how many people the new Dollar Tree will hire, city commissioner Curtis Richardson, who lives on the Southside, said he hopes that the store hires from within his community. At least, Richardson said, he believes the community will benefit from tax dollars.
“I see no down side to Dollar Tree locating in that space and being a good business partner on the south side of town,” Richardson said.
He also said that having a Dollar Tree in the Southside community does address the Community Redevelopment Agency’s goal for bringing economic growth to areas like the Southside. The CRA, which has the mission to eradicate blithe in designated areas in the city, has been criticized for not putting more effort into redevelopment on the Southside.

Meanwhile, county commissioner Bill Proctor said his constituents are being short shifted when a Dollar Tree replaces Walgreens. His concern is that residents still don’t have a place to fill prescriptions as they did at Walgreens.

“We are trading in something that is a Bentley for a Volkswagen,” he said. “We can say that Walgreens helped to sustain life; we got our prescriptions from there.”

Not having Walgreens also was a big loss to FAMU School of Pharmacy students who trained at the store, he said.

“I’m not excited,” Proctor said. “What I’m not happy about is the service loss and that service loss is a pharmacy for a Dollar Tree.”