Neighborhood News

Glen Crest Civic League protests one more Family Dollar store

I did a Google search for Family Dollar and Dollar General stores roughly in the area inside Loop 820 and a little toward Arlington to see where these stores are located (there are almost none west of 820, so I did not include that area).

Anyway, In the area I screen shot, Family Dollar operates 39 stores and Dollar General operates 32.  My maps didn’t exactly end up apples to apples in coverage, but there are about 75 stores in these two chains to serve the population if the coverage areas were identical.  This is not counting Dollar Tree, 99 Cents and Up, Sam’s One Dollar Stores, and on-offs.  So conservatively about 90 to 100 stores.

 Of the two chains that I mapped, roughly 40% of Dollar General and Family Dollar stores are in the southeast quadrant of the city.

 So not only are we generally oversaturated with this category of stores, the southeast quadrant of the city is overwhelmingly saturated.

Family Dollar Locations:

 

Dollar General locations:

Westside DG locations:

 

For comparison, a map showing  KROGER locations:

And this is the map of Albertson's Fort Worth locations:

 

There are numerous articles that support what Ms Davis is pointing out.  They are killers for any other type of business, especially a grocery store, and they do not supply people with anything much in the way of unprocessed food.

 I think it is time for the city to do an analysis of the density of these stores and figure out some way to keep it from getting worse.  This could be based on population to be served, or so many per square mile.  The Supreme Court has already confirmed that cities have a right to control where various businesses are built through zoning.  If the zoning is not able to be the control mechanism (that is, the zoning already allows it), then the population rule could be used.

 Alternatively, cities could pressure these stores to start supplying fresh produce and others less-processed foods.  If they want to saturate an area with stores and they know they are killing other business models, they have a responsibility to be a welcome partner in the neighborhood.   I know Dollar General is testing out the fresh produce idea, but have not heard how it is going.  There is no reason you have to purchase food at a giant supermarket if what you do have access to serves that need.  That’s how it was done 100 years ago, anyway.

First, the city leadership will have to decide if this is a battle worth fighting.  They talk a good game (Blue Zones and other healthy alternatives).  I don’t see why this isn’t an issue to be tackled.

 Dan Haase

_________

Subject: Glen Crest Civic League neighborhood protests one more Family Dollar store

Glen Crest Neighborhood needs our voices to battle against another Dollar Store in the area. The same thing is beginning to happen throughout our neighborhood as well.

 Please send letters to Ms Davis, not sure if this has made it to any agenda yet or if it's just in the planning stages but possibly LaShanda can respond to us all as to what we can do to help.

 

FORT WORTH RESIDENT PROTEST FAMILY DOLLAR STORE AT S. RIVERSIDE AND GLEN EDEN

The area has nine (9) Family Dollar stores located in a three-mile radius of the proposed site at these locations:

1. 3033 S. Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76104

2. 4108 Martin Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76119

3. 3101 Wilbarger Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76119

4. 4940 S. Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76115

5. 4025 Hemphill Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76110

6. 5100 McCart Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76115

7. 2719 W. Seminary Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76133

8. 1700 Sycamore School Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76134

9.  3324 Mansfield Highway, Forest Hill, Texas 76119

 

“Family Dollar stores are not economic development.  On the contrary, they set the bar on the lowest rung of the economic ladder.  There is money in this area that is spent in other parts of the city.  We need supermarkets and sit down restaurants.  We are asking entrepreneurs and national supermarket chains to take a serious look at what we have here and join us.” says Davis.

In a recent article, published by CityLab and written by Tanvi Misra on December 20, 2018, “It has become an increasingly common story: A dollar store opens up in an economically depressed area with scarce healthy and affordable food options, sometimes with the help of local tax incentives. It advertises hard-to-beat low prices but it offers little in terms of fresh produce and nutritious items - further trapping residents in a cycle of poverty and ill-health.” Although ‘affordable’ in their claim, Family Dollar lacks fresh and healthy food – and this store will gut our local and independently owned businesses.

Glen Crest Civic League neighborhood is bounded by S. Riverside Dr. and Mansfield Highway on the West; Mitchell Blvd. and Wichita St. on the East; E. Berry and E. Berry South on the North; and E. Seminary Dr. on the South.

The population is approximately 80% African American, 15% Caucasian and 5% Hispanic.

___________

But, are the dollar stores the real problem?

As a customer of both Dollar General and the Family Dollar stores,this is my response to the Glen Crest neighborhood:

Kroger, Minyards, Fiesta, Walmart Market left us years ago.

The dollar stores did NOT kill the grocery stores in our area. Those stores were long gone before the dollar stores built and moved in. You should not blame a business for filling a void created by another business leaving.

The maps above show that there are few major chain grocery stores from I-35 east, to East Loop 820.

Did anyone protest at Braums when they expanded their stores to include more fresh fruits and veggies? Is it Baums fault   for Kroger leaving?

So why did the other chains leave?

  • Not enough profit?
  • Too much shoplifting?
  • Not a high income neighborhood?
  • All of the above?

How are any of the dollar stores chains surviving when other retailers could not?

Yes, the dollar stores are moving in to high density areas with no grocery stores and they are doing a good business. For the folks living in the nearby apartments, many who use public transportation, those stores mean a mom can walk to the store, grab essentials and not waste time waiting on a bus, or leave the kids home alone for several hours while she shops.

Show me the nutritional difference between a gallon of milk and a box of name-brand cereal purchased from a grocery store or from the dollar stores. There is none.

I shop for food at the Eastchase Aldi. It has a small fresh fruits & veggie section, but minimal 'cleaning supplies' products so I have to buy those at one of the dollar stores, which is fine by me. The name-brand laundry products are priced lower than at grocery stores or Walmart where they are marked up for profits. Why would I spend up to 50 cents more per product at a grocery store than I do at the dollar store?

Show me all the privately owned "mom & pop" food retailers located in residential neighborhoods of Fort Worth.

Show me an entrepreneur who has the capital to open an independent retail grocery / food business.

Show me one business person that has even applied to open up a new grocery store in any existing retail location. (I dont think anyone is applying, so you can't say dollar stores are killing the business. Can't kill what isn't there.)

As for fresh food, fruits and veggies, where are the local farmers market stands, like the folks who had a trailer at the Handley Cafe? Where are the farmer trucks delivering fresh produce like the ice cream trucks do? Fort Worth made it legal, so where are they? I'm still waiting!

These dollar stores provide employment to the folks other retailers reject. It's a real job, close to homeand they paychecks are real.

Where are the plans to create more dispersed lower income housing, take vacant land and turn it into city farms that GROW fresh vegetables, and provide more bus routes from apartments to major grocery stores?

Don't blame the dollar stores for moving in where a solid customer base resides, and where they have minimal retail competition.

And for those of you doing the complaining, let me hear from you AFTER you WALK to your nearest grocery store and walk home with the bags. Or take a bus and time the excursion.

 

May 20 update:

Kat,

I don’t disagree with anything you said.  In fact, I am often defending these stores because you can make a decent part of your food purchases there.  I usually get laughed out of the room when I say those kinds of things, and I probably sound like I am walking back my earlier comments.  Both chains have gotten much better at this than they used to be. They have expanded their food offerings from those a decade ago.

Having said all that, most of the stuff you can eat that can be purchased in these stores is still snacks, chips, cookies, and Cokes-heavy, in addition to mostly highly processed frozen foods.  Yes, you can buy milk, eggs, flour, and canned goods.  But there is no meat, no produce, and much of the rest is not in the “good” part of today’s dietary guidelines.  See https://www.choosemyplate.gov/.  And food items only occupy maybe 20% of the store’s footprint.

 So if they are going to saturate the market (or if you prefer, fill a void) and be a primary source for groceries for people, then they have a responsibility to step up to the plate and do it properly.  Once these stores reach a certain density, no grocery store could possibly expect to enter the market and compete, so this even gives more weight to the role they should be meeting.

 We have all heard recently that people who live in 76104 have a much lower life expectancy, although some of the data are a little suspect.  Actuarial tables show that on average, black people live five years less than white people.  That is wrong, though it would be simplistic to blame that on just available food choices.  It also can’t be ignored.

 That is where I think city leadership could help.  There need to be some density controls so they aren’t the category killer OR the stores need to get closer to healthy offerings than they are right now.  The city could “encourage” them to get there quicker.

 As I said earlier, these stores have a responsibility to be a welcome partner in the neighborhood.  I shop in these stores quite often.  I am glad they are not my only option for food, but if they did it right, I would have no problem shopping there for more of my food.  It’s generally a lot closer than a full-sized grocery store anyway.

 Bottom line: I think the city needs to look at this trend sufficiently to say they have looked out for the health of its citizens.  It’s still up to each of us to make good choices.  We must first have good choices to make.

 Dan Haase

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Observing the opening of the EnVision Center were Mayor Betsy Price, District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens and
HUD Regional Administrator Beth Van Duyne.

 

Fort Worth celebrates opening of HUD EnVision Center in Stop 6

Observing the opening of the EnVision Center were Mayor Betsy Price, District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens and HUD Regional Administrator Beth Van Duyne.

The City of Fort Worth and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have officially opened the doors to Texas’ only HUD EnVision Center at Martin Luther King Community Center. The venter is in Fort Worth’s Stop Six neighborhood, with services targeted to residents of the Cavile Place public housing complex, although other area residents can access services.

View this City video about the opening events. (it links to the YouTube version.)

HUD’s EnVision Centers are premised on the notion that financial support alone can’t solve the problem of poverty, and that collective efforts across a diverse set of organizations, both public and private, are needed to help low-income individuals and families rise out of it. The programs offered are based on the EnVision Center’s four pillars: economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness, and character development.

“Fort Worth has seen great success in leveraging public-private partnerships to provide resources to our citizens,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “We look forward to collaborating with HUD, Fort Worth Housing Solutions and our other EnVision Center partners to provide the training and resources Stop Six residents need to become self-sufficient.”

“EnVision Centers are an investment in America’s and Fort Worth’s most important resource — our people,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “This center will be a resource to residents and will promote self-sufficiency among HUD-assisted households. Mayor Price and the City of Fort Worth have been exemplary partners in this venture. We want everyone to achieve their American dream — we just need to create the conditions in which people can realize their potential, and that’s what this opening is all about.”

The opening of the EnVision Center at the MLK Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive, coincides with the revitalization of the Cavile neighborhood in Stop Six. The city recently allocated $2.56 million for neighborhood improvements, including new sidewalks, brush cleanup, blighted and dilapidated structure teardown and new security cameras to reduce crime.

Each EnVision Center has convened local stakeholders and resident councils to assist in prioritizing the services most needed by the community. HUD will develop tools to track and measure resident outcomes of EnVision Center participants and services — the goal of which is to ensure EnVision Centers are able to achieve and monitor progress against the goals of the program.

Historic Handley gets new signs

The installation of way finding signs promoting Handley businesses is another step toward raising awareness about the retail and business opportunities available in Historic Handley.    “I see this as an asset to businesses like Eastside Antiques and M&M’s resale shop and others,” said Jean McClung-Historic Handley Development Corporation.

She added more amenities are coming referencing plans for the gazebo as a wedding destination spot and even support from Union Pacific whose leader have committed to erecting a fence. Councilwoman Gyna Bivens convened meetings with business owners to get their input on a design for the wayfinding sign.  Paul Kerpoe updated the group on the City’s work to install 80 feet of sewer pipeline.

Wil Dryden commended the Handley shop owners who have ‘hung in there’ and talked about the importance of an engaged business community.  Nedia Dryden wants to see an event promoting the caboose since it receives a lot of attention from motorists who often circle the block to see the unique historic rail attraction.

M&M owner James Owens was acknowledged for bringing this idea to the City Council office on behalf of other business owners.

May is pothole month, and reporting them is easy

See a pothole? Report it so it can be repaired.

Potholes are a problem that can wreak havoc on roads, not to mention the damage they can do to vehicles that hit them.

May is Pothole Month in the City of Fort Worth, so instead of swerving when you see them and driving on by, report those potholes. The city’s Pothole Crew will fix them.

How to report potholes

Report potholes online or by calling the 24-hour phone line at 817-392-1234.

Be prepared to provide this information:

  •  Your name (optional but encouraged).
  •  Contact information (optional but encouraged).
  •  The exact location of the pothole and/or direction of travel (required).
  •  The size and dimensions of the pothole: length, width and depth (optional but encouraged).

Keep in mind, potholes are no larger than 3 feet in diameter. Anything larger than this should be reported as a “street repair” or “base failure.”

View the Pothole Crew in action.

Breakfast Optimists Club of East Fort Worth  Honors East Fort Worth Students

Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth Hosts Annual Youth Appreciation Event

The Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth hosted its annual Youth Appreciation recognition event on Thursday for eastside students, families, school administrators and Optimist Members. The event at the Meadowbrook United Methodist Church featured one 4th or 5th grade student from 10 different east side primary schools. Students were chosen by school principals based on their current or future leadership potential. Accompanying the students were their families, their favorite teacher or and/or their principal.

Chief Judge of the City of Fort Worth Municipal Court (and former Optimist International President) Danny Rodgers presided as the MC for the evening and conducted entertaining and insightful interviews of each student. Focusing on each student provided them with singular recognition and praise and was positive proof that kids do indeed say the funniest things.

Students recognized during the event included Sarahi Sandoval Acuna of Sagamore Hill E.S.; Tianna Stephens of Eastern Hills E.S.; Kenneth Rosado of the Leadership Academy @ John T. White; Bridget Musenda of Bill J. Elliott E.S.; Jayshon Gibson of West Handley E.S.; Randee Slater of Westpark E.S.; Alexander Valles of East Handley E.S.; Eja Gatewood of Lowery Road E.S.; Victoria Young of Atwood-McDonald E.S.; and Michael Sian of St. Rita Catholic School.

The Breakfast Optimist Club of East Fort Worth was founded in 1963, and today the club boasts almost 100 members. The Club is one of several Optimist Clubs based in Tarrant County and beyond. The east side Club supports a variety of youth-oriented events both in and out of school and sponsors several Junior Optimist Clubs and works with both public and private school administrators to provide hope and positive vision that brings out the best in kids. The Club’s goal is to be recognized in Fort Worth as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop their potential.

Group picture from left:

Sarahi Sandoval Acuna of Sagamore Hill E.S.; Tianna Stephens of Eastern Hills E.S.; Kenneth Rosado of the Leadership Academy @ John T. White; Bridget Musenda of Bill J. Elliott E.S.; Jayshon Gibson of West Handley E.S.; Randee Slater of Westpark E.S.; Victoria Young of Atwood-McDonald E.S.; Alexander Valles of East Handley E.S.; Eja Gatewood of Lowery Road E.S.; and Michael Sian of St. Rita Catholic School.

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