Family Dollar plans quashed

By on April 6, 2010

This site was intended to house the Family Dollar.By Baylee Pulliam

Students at the University of Louisville may not have known what was going on, but Jim Patterson Stadium almost got a new neighbor. In fact, a battle was ensuing over the issue, a battle that involved these very students who didn’t realize anything was going on.

According to Josh Braverman, public relations manager for Family Dollar stores, a new superstore almost opened in the 3000 block of South Third Street.

“We’re excited about our newest store,” said Braverman in an e-mail message on March 23. “I think Family Dollar fits the college budget perfectly.”

Trey Pippin, a sophomore political science major, was also excited about the potential new store.

“I think low cost options around campus are always a positive,” said Pippin. “Low costs in the area promote competition with other retailers. And there is a possibility we could see the costs of other goods around campus going down because of it.”

Braverman promised products such as food, cleaning supplies, towels, bedding, and other college necessities that are hard to obtain near campus.

But not everyone was happy about the prospect of a Family Dollar on Third Street.
“Many U of L students live in that area,” said John Drees, U of L spokesman. “So this may be an issue for them.”

Five houses were slated for potential demolition in order to build the Family Dollar.
“Knocking down buildings that could easily be made into affordable student housing is not good, not to mention that it would cost less to rehabilitate the buildings for housing use,” said Jonique Green, a public affairs master’s student.

Preservation Louisville, a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation throughout the city, shares much the same view.

“A neighborhood is a whole fabric that shouldn’t be torn apart,” said Marianne Zickuhr, executive director of Preservation Louisville.

The Planning Commission met concerning the zoning switch of the properties from residential to commercial, which would be a necessary zoning change in order to move a Family Dollar superstore into the residentially-zoned area of South Third Street.
Representatives from the neighborhood where the Family Dollar store would be built, as well as individuals from Preservation Louisville, attended the meeting to voice their opinions.

“We were really proud of the…neighborhoods,” said Zickuhr. “They all really came together for a common goal. They canvassed the area and really made people in the area aware of what was going on.”

In the end, Metro Council decided to deny the zoning change.

“This was really a victory for us and for U of L too,” said Zickuhr. “Students live around there and those buildings could be rehabilitated for housing.”
For now, the houses on South Third Street will remain standing.

“The neighborhood should stay the same,” said Green. “It’s just a good decision.”

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