Chicago, IL

Chicago Alderman Proposes Moratorium on New Dollar Tree Store

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Concerns raised over filthy store conditions lead to call for temporary halt
Photo byMike Mozart/flickr [CC BY 2.0]

A vacant store in Morgan Park will soon become a Dollar Tree, but not everyone in the area is pleased with this development. An alderman has requested a temporary ban on Dollar Tree stores, raising concerns about their presence in the neighborhood.

The storefront where the intended Dollar Tree will be located is at the intersection of Western Avenue and 111th Street in the southwestern Morgan Park. The location is considered prime real estate on a vital corner, bordered by the Beverly Arts Center

Alderman Matt O'Shea (19th) opposes this development and is protesting the placement of a Dollar Tree store at that site.

"That's the gateway to my community. That's the cultural hub of my community," O'Shea said.

In defense of his position, the alderman has pointed to filthy conditions outside a number of other stores including trash overflowing the dumster, hanging facades that are left for months, more garbage strews on sidewalks near store entrances at existing Dollar Tree stores in Morgan Park, Beverly, and Mount Greenwood.

O'shea statement comes as part of an ongoing debate about the condition of some Dollar Tree store locations. O'Shea argues that these stores, in their current state, do not meet the cleanliness and maintenance standards that Chicago residents should expect from retail businesses.

While Dollar Tree has become a popular destination for budget-conscious shoppers, the conditions of certain stores have raised questions. Alderman O'Shea's proposed moratorium seeks to address these concerns, aiming to ensure that existing Dollar Tree locations maintain a higher level of cleanliness and adherence to city regulations.

After contacting other Chicago City Council Members the alderman learned many have similar complaints.

"I had 15 respond to me in the first 24 hours, saying, 'This is real problem in my community too,'" O'Shea said.

He claims that the owners of the stores do nothing about complaints that have piled up despite being fined a number of times. Because of this O'Shea wants to see more aggressive action from the city.

"I want to see a moratorium on these types of businesses opening up in our city," O'Shea said. "This happens in communities all across the city of Chicago."

While the company issued a statement, it didn't address the issue of cleanliness. "Our stores also strive to be good community partners. [We] repurpose previously vacant retail space in neighborhoods that have retail needs, keeping centers and other adjacent businesses open and serving communities, especially those that are underserved."

The alderman wasn't satisfied and wants Dollar Tree stores to be held accountable or closed down.

"If they don't want to clean up their act, they don't want to clean up their stores, don't want to be good neighbors, then get the hell out of Chicago," O'Shea said.

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Chicago, IL

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