Family Dollar Scheduled to Open in Oakhurst By “Mid-Summer”

Patch’s Ralph Ellis is reporting this morning that a spokesman for Family Dollar says that the store will open in the old Big H plaza “mid-summer”.  The spokesman said that Decatur was picked as a location “because it looked like a good market”, according to Patch.

78 thoughts on “Family Dollar Scheduled to Open in Oakhurst By “Mid-Summer””

    1. Me too. Though the current demographic within a neighborhood-serving retailer might work, the trend is definitely not in their favor. Still, it’ll be nice to finally have an “anchor tenant” in that space.

    2. probably someone who counted citizens who live in the area, I feel like people here forget that while areas of Oakhurst and Decatur are full of people who are doing good or better financially, there are many areas and close by areas that have people who aren’t as well off financially.

  1. I thought I noticed some red and orangey coloring on the storefront this weekend. Although, I’m still in denial:(

  2. I think that this will be a good addition to the area. I know that some like and some dis-like this but overall it will be widely used (I expect). This store will bring both day and night customers and will provide a new easy location to pick up household goods, pet supplies and a wide array of other items to the neighborhood. I personally work hard to support the local business as much as possible but think that this too will be a good addition overall. I also think that everyone needs to back off the property owner!

    1. I like the idea of a nicer Family Dollar store. I think you’ll all be surprised to find how often this place will come in handy. (And for you fellow old timers, I don’t recall the neighborhood being such a bad place when the old grocery was actually still there. This will just be a better, cleaner, more useful version of the same.)

      Maybe it’s all time to accept that fact that we’re not actually ever going to be Portland. And that’s a good thing.

      But I don’t necessarily agree the owner property owner should get a break on how poorly he’s used that space over the last decade.

      1. I’m fine with Family Dollar being there; originally I was skeptical but after years of watching that empty space, I’m fine. Between FD and the Oakhurst Market, I can cover a lot of shopping ground with one parking space.

        But I am not yet ready to accept that we can never be Portland. Perhaps the happiest two years of my life were spent in Portland. Everywhere should aspire to be Portland. I’m proud that I discovered Portland way before the rest of the world did.

        1. There was a time when I yearned for a particular place I once lived, then I realized I was actually pining after my misspent youth. (I’d spend it the same way again, if I could. Mostly.)

      2. Keep hope alive!

        They’re no Family Dollar, but…
        DollarTree, Portland, OR: “We found 22 stores within 10 miles of your search.”

        1. You’ve made my day. We have a chance of becoming the Portland of the South……..well, at least the Portland of West Central DeKalb County! If we could just make Stone Mountain a little taller and put some white batten flocking on top, I could pretend that it’s Mt. Hood.

            1. That’s Mt. St. Helens to the north, not Mt. Hood to the east, but same difference, one of those Cascade mountain thingys. I’m not picky. I don’t care which stupendous Portland view I get.

  3. That’s too bad. I was hoping Oakhurst would continue on it’s quaint independent streak and now to add in a cheap, ugly chain dollar store is just sad for the Oakhurst community…

    1. Bruce Cohen’s decade long mismanagement of this property and the leasing to Family Dollar is a lot of things, but it is most certainly not “sad for the Oakhurst community.” We will survive this and continue to prosper.

  4. All I want to know now is how this impacts the existence of a parking attendant in that parking lot. I actually broke down and paid $4 to park for about an our during the dinner rush on Friday, due to a perfect storm of my husband at U-Joint alone with our 2 toddlers and me rushing home from work late to meet them. Sure would like to not have to do that again.

    1. I would think that the target market for Family Dollar will not be able to afford to pay $4 in parking to go buy $2 laundry detergent and toilet paper. This should be entertaining to watch b/c I don’t think the owner is clever enough to figure that out.

      1. WHAT?!? Do you still think he’ll charge for parking once the FD opens? I was thinking that was a way for him to make a few bucks when he had no one paying rent! If I had to pay $4 just to shop at the Family Dollar…uh, no!

        1. It will be interesting to see what Bruce does about the parking now that there’s a retail tenant. I don’t blame him for charging on jazz nights and weekends. It’s private property, after all. I can’t wait for the uproar if Family Dollar starts booting cars belonging to non-patrons during business hours.

          1. I expect there to be a boot patrol a la Midtown Arts/Trader Joe’s lot during Piedmont Park events. There will be a lot of unhappy people at first, then folks will just not park there.

  5. I hope there statement “because it looked like a good market” is the extent of their research, I have a feeling that was a placating statement and must think they did more demographic study than the quote communicates. Was hoping for a much different outcome….than a cheap, chain, dollar store as well…community just took a big step backwards…

    1. Is an empty building good for the community? All those quaint independents haven’t been lined up to take on 10,000 square feet and the associated rent payments. Family Dollar is a $7.6 billion company. Just think of all the opportunities for the community to pressure a big corporation for neighborhood investment/sponsorships. Oh, and be happy for the landlord. Think of all the money he is going to make.

      1. So mobile DM posted as reply to wrong comment. Internet back up now so working on the big screen.

  6. Does everyone realize that this is NOT a dollar store but rather a variety store.
    Most of their products cost less than $10 and it is set up like a typical supermarket with food items, clothing and assorted household products.

    Check it out for yourself at

    1. What they realize is that it’s not a Trader Joes or, even better, some fancy boutique or market where they can buy “local”, paying four times whatever they would spend at Walmart or Kroger for the privilege. Some of them are really pissed that they bought a house in a revitalizing neighborhood at an inflated price, secure in the knowledge that the Oakhurst of the Big H and gun shots at McKoy park would never return. And now this looks like a step in the wrong direction to them. Oops.

      OK, who’s going to be first to tell me that I’m an insensitive jerk who has completely misrepresented “their” views and motives?

      1. Jeez J_T – jealous much. Some of us have been here since the gunshots heard at the corner days, and are much happier having the schools, the parks and the local markets that we can frequent with our kids. Also the ONA has done a great job with the jazz concerts, BBQ fest, etc.
        I love that Mojos has been here since the old days, and that the guys who own UJoint, Steinbecks, and OM are local guys who believed in the people here.
        I am in real estate investing and believe Family Dollar has made a miscalculation in their estimated return on investment. I do believe that something in that space is better than nothing, but it won’t make money like they think it will. Part of the issue is the owner’s unrealistic expectation and unwillingness to make concession (or, you know, fix the leaking roof or agree to some capex.) We’ll see, but it’s not a good fit – investment/ROI-wise.
        But,hey, we’d love to see you down in our corner, spending money at the FD, or UJ, so we’ll always welcome you.

        1. That’s hardly jealousy talking. Neighborhoods are neighbors above all else. A few neighbors looking down their noses and totally disregarding what’s a welcomed business by other neighbors can quickly turn a cool neighborhood into a less than desirable place to be for all.

          1. Agreed! We didn’t choose to live in Alpharetta or Sandy Springs for many reasons but one of the main ones was the fact that EVERYONE is welcome in Decatur, at least that what we thought. There’s nothing wrong with those other places and I mean no offense to anyone, but it wasn’t what we were looking for. We want to have all kinds of neighbors, as long as they say Hello when you pass them on the sidewalk. 🙂

      2. I’m with you. The people who were drawn to this neighborhood by gentrification and the quaint independent community village are sub-human and deserving of our scorn. They are not welcome, and we need the Big H landlord to help drive them out. His strategy of maintaining blighted properties throughout the neighborhood is no longer enough, he needs to start leasing to national dollar store chains, pawn shops, Title Max, and anything else that scares those whiny and spoiled brats. And pronto, before the Hop n Shop turns into a wine store, which is unfortunately already happening.

        Call me an insensitive jerk, but we don’t need these people around here.

        1. I’m glad you agree. Because that’s EXACTLY what I was saying! Understanding your neighbors and community is for the weak. Let the class warfare commence!

  7. If it’s not what the “market” wants, then they’ll close the store and it will be empty again. If it is what the “market” wants then a cheap, chain dollar store is a big step forward for the community…even if it’s not what a vocal minority wishes could be there.

    1. Alright, you and need need to go have a beer sometime and discuss a plan to fix all that is wrong in the world. It clearly would be a great session. However, you may not want to associate yourself with the evil, selfish, dastardly Walrus….

      1. No!No!No!No!NO! Stay away from Keith F with your horrible self!!!

        (KIDDING!!! When you’re not in honey badger mode, you’re kinda lovable. Glad you’re back! :0)

        1. Ha! You should certainly join us. That would be something…
          Not sure if I am “back.” I think I might just throw out friendly comments here and there.

          1. Oh mercy! Adding beer to the mix…

            You’re back. With all the ridiculousness going on around us? NO WAY you can resist! :0)

      2. It would be my pleasure. Haven’t found anyone yet who I can’t enjoy a cold beverage with.

    2. Vocal minority? Its not what the “market” wants nor does it make sense? Is there a huge NEED for this store and its products, is it not already supplied at the Hop n Shop, whats the difference maker here? More variety less cost? Haven’t heard the clamoring from majority that “hey you know what we really need is a place I can get my Tide for cheaper? Give me a break, Publix, Kroger, Ace Hardware, Lowes, Hop n Shop, Oakhurst Market all providing products already… varying price points….

      1. Soory Boog but I can’t walk to any of those places to buy affordable items I may need at the last minute. You’ll be surprised at all the things that will come in handy at Family Dollar

        Hop n Shop is a nice place but I don’t want to overpay for items just because they are independently owned. And for OM – a great addition to the neighborhood but not where I’m going to buy milk, bread or laundry detergent.

        1. The Hop n Shop makes a profit from selling lottery tickets, cigarettes, and beer. The Family Dollar is a very different store. It sells affordable groceries, clothing, toys, and household goods. There are plenty of people in Oakhurst who will be able to walk to the FD who don’t have cars to get them to Publix, Kroger, or Ace Hardware.

      2. “Haven’t heard the clamoring from majority that “hey you know what we really need is a place I can get my Tide for cheaper? ”

        That’s because the majority have not even heard of Decatur Metro, much less comment on it (no offense, DM). And your mention of Tide indicates that you might be out of touch with what many families can actually afford. Think Purex.

        1. +1 seconded.

          And c’mon people, it’s a freakin’ *Family Dollar,* a discount store selling general merchandise, including groceries. It might not be your dream tenant, but is it something to freak out over? It’ll be useful to a lot of people, especially those without easy access to cars.

  8. For families living on fixed incomes or low incomes – and, yes, there are many such families in the Oakhurst area – the prices for everyday goods at many local, independent stores are simply out of reach. Having a Family Dollar nearby will help. Keeping communities vibrant means keeping them accessible and livable for families in a wide range of incomes.

  9. You know with the opening of the store, parking will still be limited. If not, there will be no room for their customers.

    1. FAO Schwarz, Prada, Bloomingdale’s. I cannot believe we don’t have a Bloomie’s in Decatur.

  10. Without sarcasm-it is threads like this that make me despair for the future of Decatur. Who are you snotty people? What enclave did you come from? How did you find your way to our little city with your noses so high in the air?

    1. We are the middle class people who bought homes in this great neighborhood when it wasn’t cool to do so, pay our taxes, god forbid have jobs that pay pretty well, maintain our homes and front yards, raise our kids, volunteer our time and $$$ from MLK service days to every neighborhood organizations and festivals, frequent the local businesses, develop great relationships with all of our neighbors regardless of economic status, and have a tremendous amount of pride to be Oakhurst residents – or in other words the snooty, out of touch, high brow, hypocrites who disagree with having a FD in the neighborhood…

  11. I keep saying that Decatur is becoming a 6 figure Liberal hypocrisy! People speak of a diverse foundation and understanding of different social and economic positions but each time you speak of new business that is not super fresh, super green, super local it gets kick back. Heck the Wal-Mart discussion is a perfect example of this. Most (not all) argue about traffic, big box, parking and competition to businesses. If a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s was going there they would have a parade. I can tell you that the traffic, big box, parking and competition would be just the same as Wal-Mart. This is no different but on a different scale. I have been in Decatur for Years, yes I make a good living and yes I like most of the people but am getting very sick of trying to keep up with the “Jones’s”

    1. 6 figure liberal hypocrisy! that has to be the best definition of some of the most vocal people in the area I have ever heard. awesome.

  12. I keep saying that Decatur is becoming a 6 figure Liberal hypocrisy! People speak of a diverse foundation and understanding of different social and economic positions but each time you speak of new business that is not super fresh, super green, super local it gets kick back. Heck the Wal-Mart discussion is a perfect example of this. Most (not all) argue about traffic, big box, parking and competition to businesses. If a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s was going there they would have a parade. I can tell you that the traffic, big box, parking and competition would be just the same as Wal-Mart. This is no different but on a different scale. I have been in Decatur for Years, yes I make a good living and yes I like most of the people but am getting very sick of trying to keep up with the “Jones’s”

  13. This is digressing into a class war, when in my mind, it is more of an aesthetic war. If you draw a circle around Decatur, there are just a handful of corporate brands in the whole area. Consumer culture is evolving and Decatur is probably ground zero for this in the metro area. Dinner at one of the pubs is actually cheaper than Ruby Tuesday, so it’s not really an income issue. I love my little Kroger — the people, the convenience and the prices. But I can imagine my own kids — in 20 years — would find it abhorrent to shop in a big brand box store, assuming these dinosaurs are still around.

    1. Wow — from the time I started my little rant, to clicking Submit, Ruby Tuesday has closed. Case in point.

    2. I was thinking aesthetics too- if that business’ sign was some cool funky arty display of its name, instead of the neon yellow block lettering maybe people would be happier. Is there a movement for national businesses branding to location with individualized signage? Probably no bang for the buck right now, but something for businesses to start considering.

    3. That’s a good point about class, and I’d argue that social class and income level are two different things. I know a few people who could probably buy Brick Store Pub, but would never set foot in a bar with no televisions or Bud Light on tap.

  14. I would have rather seen something other than a Family Dollar in that spot – mostly because I’m sure they have signed a long term (10-15yr) lease that most national retailers insist on – that will be prohibitive to the ultimate redevelopment of that property which is what should have happened years ago if Bruce had not wanted an ever escalating price for it until the real estate market crashed and is now probably worth half of what he had wanted for it.

    Far from being classist, I think that this property is the key for maintaining diversity and affordability in Oakhurst b/c the redevelopment should incorporate apartments/condos/townhomes for lower to middle income and people without families.

    On the other hand, I do not think that a Family Dollar will lead to the decline of the neighborhood. It has flourished even though that decaying hulk of a building has been mostly empty for a decade or longer. There is a Dollar General on Lavista in the Oak Grove neighborhood that has a funky little strip of stores like Oakhurst. It has not led to the decline of that area at all.

  15. I hope many of you will be pleasantly surprised/pleased with the new Family Dollar. Their new stores are quite nice, have good merchandising, and a small grocery section (including milk and other staples). And don’t forget about the thin mint and samoa knock offs!

    1. Uh oh. Competition. We still have quite a stock of Girl Scout cookies to sell off.

  16. I found a great on-street parking place on Oakview next to McGowan’s for the last Jazz Night. I was closer to my picnic spot and kept that $5 in my own pocket.

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