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Board ensures Dorchester won't have too many Dollar Tree stores

Correction: Denial without prejudice means the landlord doesn't have to wait a year to re-apply.

The Zoning Board of Appeal yesterday rejected a Dollar Tree store proposed for 493 Washington St. in Codman Square after aides to Mayor Walsh and City Councilor Andrea Campbell said that it could cause traffic problems and, besides, there's already a Dollar Tree a mile away on Talbot Avenue.

The board's unanimous rejection was "without prejudice," which means Yijie Dai, who owns the currently vacant building, can come back with another proposal. Dai bought the building in 2016, when it was the home of the Full Life Gospel Center. The church moved out this past April.

Several residents dragged themselves to City Hall during Tuesday's snowstorm to support the discount store, including Daniel Bartlett of Bicknell Street.

Bartlett cited the fact the store would have a small parking lot, which would let him drive into Codman Square to buy the supplies he needs as a landlord without having to schlep stuff around.

But also, he said, "My mother would kill me if I didn't come in, because she's probably the biggest Dollar Tree supporter in the country."

He said when he visits her in Florida, she takes him to her local Dollar Tree and when he told her Dollar Tree might move in near his home in Dorchester, "she went crazy happy" about the idea.

No residents rose to object to the store, but aides to Walsh and Campbell said people did oppose the proposal at meetings of nearby neighborhood associations.

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Comments

A thick enough stack of cash

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Voting closed 38

A dollar for Magoo. A dollar for you. Magoo keeps his dollars in his stinky shoe. Magoo.

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Voting closed 15

Your shtick was always stupid.

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Voting closed 24

Citizens: people without cars need a place to buy their stuff
Marty Antoinette: let them buy cars!

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Voting closed 19

People actually WANT this store?!? Most of what they sell is a rip off. I'd rather pay more at a bodega for some of the stuff they sell.

Dollar Tree is..

1. #1 leader in importing crappy overseas goods
2. Have been caught numerous times selling lead painted items or other items that have been banned.
3. Was just warned by the FDA for selling counterfeit drugs (i.e. advil)
4. Most of their food isn't cheap, its over priced. Look closely at the unit prices.
5. Speaking of food, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar/Dollar General now are the nations leading grocery store. Yes folks, more people are buying food there than at grocery stores under the vail that it is 'cheap'.

And I'll just say it for saying it.. Dollar Tree helps perpetuate being poor. It takes advantage of people's mindset of 'think cheap' when in reality, its just another big corporation selling you over priced garbage.

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Voting closed 36

Like every other store, there are things at Dollar Tree that are an exceptional bargain ($1 for 96 ounce bottles of bleach) and there are other things that are overpriced ($1 for a bar of Irish Spring.) Let the buyer beware.

Generally speaking, I don't think Dollar Tree is any more evil than Walgreens or CVS (except for the counterfeit drug nonsense.)

With regard to Family Dollar, I had never been in one until a brand new FD opened near where we stay in Maine. Can I just say, it is clean, carries a huge variety of food and goods and the staff are super nice. I can see where, with that model, they could open in under-served smaller towns and really do a good business.

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Voting closed 30

4. Most of their food isn't cheap, its over priced. Look closely at the unit prices.
5. Speaking of food, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar/Dollar General now are the nations leading grocery store. Yes folks, more people are buying food there than at grocery stores under the vail that it is 'cheap'.

Dollar Tree and Dollar General are far apart on food prices- both per unit and overall. I have been in a Dollar General once and have no reason to ever go back.

I find a good indicator of how much of a ripoff a store is, is to check their generic antacid tablet prices. CVS is out of control. Dollar Tree is a gold mine.

Plus, Dollar Tree sometimes has White Castle sliders. A two pack is lower than if you bought a 12 pack case at Stoppies.

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Voting closed 15

I'd buy food at Dollar General before dollar tree.

*LOOK* at what you are buying at Dollar Tree. Those buck cereal boxes? Seems like a great deal when you realize they are half full. Dollar chicken breasts? RIP OFF. 1 each seems like a good buy but when you realize its 6.99/lb at that price. Can goods? Not so much, again, often cheaper at a supermarket.

The *quality* of the food is also my other point. So much knock off crap filled with sugars and carbs. Some of it is questionably bought and sold. You don't know whats in it.

I'm all for a bargain, but even I won't shop there.

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Voting closed 20

"4. Most of their food isn't cheap, its over priced. Look closely at the unit prices."

Conventional supermarkets tend to sell perishable items in large quantity containers. If you only use a small amount of something every now and then you end up discarding most of it when it spoils. So the higher unit cost of the small Dollar Tree containers still comes out to a lower unit cost of product actually used.

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Voting closed 17

Dollar Tree is very different from Dollar General and Family Dollar. Nothing costs a dollar at those stores, while everything at DT is a dollar.

I would not buy food at any of them.

It is true that the goods are often not good quality, but it doesn't take much experience to be able to judge what's not worth much. Sometimes, shoddy is good enough.

Some items are good quality and a serious bargain. DT now has USB-micro to USB-C adapters. They work well, and cost $1. Imagine what Best Buy is charging*, if they even carry them. Some of the dishes and kitchenware at DT are good. Hardware items (not tools) are often a bargain. Stationery items like notebooks and note cards are fine.

The reason people use DT and those other stores you mention as primary sources of groceries is that those people have no easy access to regular grocery stores. This is more of a problem in rural areas, which is where your "nation's leading grocery store" claim is derived from.

If you can't tell when an item is suitable for its purpose, then keep going to a regular store and pay a huge markup. Sometimes you're not getting anything better than what DT sells. I can certainly afford to buy everything at regular or even premium stores, but I was raised cheap. Having lived hand-to-mouth when I was younger, I still appreciate a bargain, and will go to DT periodically to save a few bucks.

To say that DT perpetuates poverty is fairly ridiculous. The company whose business plan promotes poverty is Wal-Mart. Dollar Tree does not deliberately supplant existing stores, then close most of its own stores, the way Wal-Mart does.

* Best Buy sells USB-Micro to USB-C adapters for $14. They are much bulkier than the ones Dollar Tree sells.

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Voting closed 17

Banning stores less than a mile apart is one way to ensure the city has traffic problems, since most people won't be within walking distance of a store. This is how to encourage everyone to buy a car.

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Voting closed 17

I await the City's applying this standard to bars and liquor stores.

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Voting closed 15

There is another Dollar Tree about one mile North at 259 Bowdoin St. I have heard from a reliable source (but can't confirm) that it will be closing soon after 5 years of operation. Even then, I don't think that we need to worry about Dorchester becoming a Dollar Store desert.

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Mayor Walsh and City Councilor Andrea Campbell said that it could cause traffic problems and, besides, there's already a Dollar Tree a mile away on Talbot Avenue.

By this logic the area should have 1/3 the number of Dunkins.

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Voting closed 32

..and why is the city making business decisions for Dollar Tree?

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Voting closed 15

The ZBA and the mayor should not have the power to specifically choose what stores can open. If they said no because the area wasn't zoned for it I could understand, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Telling someone they have to let their property sit vacant for a whole year and then they could have the privilege of being told no again invites a lawsuit.

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Voting closed 17

That he has to wait a year for the blessing of bureaucrats rather than

1. Immediately having a tenant that might succeed by serving a community need, letting it sink or swim on its own

2. At least be able to move on to something else productive as fast as possible

Beyond dumb

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Voting closed 14

OTC generic aspirin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), antihistamines $1. per 50, 100 at DT. They work. I've never had a problem. Far more $ at CVS (the worst of the two) or Walgreens. Ditto shampoos, soaps, antiperspirant s / deodorants, shaving creams, gels, etc., etc. All the shit you pay an arm and a leg for at CVS, Walgreens, etc., at a fraction of the cost.

Then there's food. I get all kinds of rice, beans, frozen vegetables, tuna fish, sardines, low fat chicken and turkey hotdogs, pickles, mustards, pasta, pasta sauce, wide variety of spices including salt free, bottled waters, energy drinks including sugar free, variety of wheat breads, bagels, cream cheese (real cream cheese) . Cereals, cookies, candy, etc. The list is endless.

House cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, etc., etc.

All this stuff at far less cost than CVS, Walgreens, supermarkets, etc.

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Voting closed 15

I think you forgot to add “this is a post brought to you by your friends at Dollar Tree.”

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Voting closed 13

CVS? Walgreens? A supermarket chain?

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Voting closed 15

Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar in 2015.

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Voting closed 14

so the owner is now required to leave the property vacant for a year??? how the fuck is THAT good for the neighborhood?!? absolutely ridiculous.

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I buy a few items at Dollar Tree occasionally... but...

I have an unusually good sense of smell. I believe I was a dog in a previous life (I speak Dog too) and plan to be in my next one. I'm also a bit of a cleaning fanatic.

I know what various cleaning-fluid components smell like. Dollar Tree's cleaning fluids purposely have names similar to brand names, to confuse people, and what's worse... they have no smell at all. They're just bottles of colored water, with (perhaps) trace amounts of other ingredients so they can list them on the label. But in reality you're buying water. No actual bleach, ammonia, detergent, alcohol, or anything else in them. Yes, I really can tell.

One reason people don't catch on is that water alone, with a little elbow grease, is a fairly effective cleaning fluid. But Dollar Tree's liquid cleaners (except for the very few that are actually famous brands) are a complete ripoff.

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Voting closed 15

Denial without prejudice means that the Appellant does not have to wait a year before reapplying.

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Voting closed 11

Now to fix ...

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Voting closed 19

By saying it will generate too much traffic are they pretty much admitting that the store is needed and would be so popular that the demand would cause traffic? Are they saying they would allow a store that no one wanted, and therefore produce less traffic?

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Voting closed 9