Proposal for Dollar Tree Store in Richmond faces opposition

Proposal for Dollar Tree Store in Richmond faces opposition
A Dollar Tree store is being proposed for this property at San Pablo and Barrett avenues in Richmond. (Photo by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

A proposal to locate a Dollar Tree store in a vacant building on San Pablo Avenue in Richmond is facing opposition from neighbors.

The city received a request for a design review permit to conduct exterior improvements to the building and parking lot at 12300 San Pablo Ave. (at the intersection of Barrett Avenue) in order to make way for the discount chain store.

City officials paused the design review process after receiving over two dozen letters from neighbors opposing the proposal.

“Given the comments received expressing concern about a discount store in the community, staff requested additional time for the applicant to meet with the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council,” said Hector Lopez, senior planner for the city of Richmond.

The original property was owned by West Coast Motors and has been abandoned and boarded up for a number of years now. But some neighbors say filling it with a Dollar Tree Store will not activate the vacant space in a way that will benefit the community.

The city received at least 25 emails from residents opposing the proposal. A main concern posed in the emails was that the discount store will attract crime, with opponents citing recent national media reports on the issue. Concerned residents additionally warned of the store’s potential impact on traffic at the intersection near the I-80 on-and-off ramps, and added that national discount chains undercut local small businesses.

“Let’s save that space for something that can uplift the community rather than create a magnet for crime that would endanger our community and burden our hard-working police officers,” one resident stated.

The Standard has requested comment from Dollar Tree and will update this story if and when the company responds.

Jim Hanson, president of the Richmond Heights Neighborhood Council, said the proposal will be studied and presented at a council meeting later this month.


  1. Can’t Richmond do better than another Dollar Store???You gotta be kidding me. The one near Walgreens was a haven for crime. This store would be RIGHT BY THE FREEWAY!!!!! (like the old Foodsco – a recipe for shoplifting!) Urban studies all show they have a high crime rate since they tend to be a cash store. Bad products, fake food, nothing ever fresh, food with no nutritive value. The Grocery Outlet has fresh produce, meats, dairy, organic foods for bargain prices in a clean healthy environment We don’t need the Dollar Store junk. Richmond can do better for its community!

  2. Obviously it can not do better then a dollar store, do you have any idea how many years that place has sat vacant. What kind of reputation do think Richmond has. The air must be pretty thin up in those hills for everyone who thinks you could do better then a dollar tree. I don’t know if you going to win the NIMBY argument because I don’t think the most recent dollar stores that opened closest to this location have any major issue.

  3. Imagine someone building a Dollar Tree in your backyard. How you feel? Maybe a Library or a Bookstore? Maybe a Resource Center of some sort? What does a 99 cent store do to uplift or enhance a community?

  4. Dollar Stores ARE a ‘Resource Center’ that ‘enhances’ the community. Just because you don’t need inexpensive items doesn’t mean you get to tell a landlord to find a way to open a bookstore or library instead, and stop a successful chain store from providing a needed resource to the community, or whatever free enterprise allows. Shoplifting? I shop at them and don’t notice any crime; just regular people like me who seem grateful. Why not demand that the building be torn down and a park installed? We can afford more taxes (or the empty building), and let the poor travel far and wide to find items they need and can afford. Unbelievable arrogance and insensitivity in the ‘Let them eat cake’ tradition.

  5. I’m not understanding how a dollar tree could cause crime in a neighbor hood unless this was just a very bad neighborhood to start with every Dollar tree in many Ares I have seen have always been nice clean safe places to shop at. Adding a library would seem to be more of a waste of tax money now days because people now days use the internet on laptops and as close as your phone to search for information that we would once go to a library for. Libraries have become very unsafe by being places for the homeless to sleep and spend the day you will see more drug dealers selling in the libraries than on the streets . so it sounds as if you people may need to really rethink your problem of additional dollar tree or spend some time and money on finding out where the true problem is in this community

  6. Dollar Tree is great! It’s a shame the one near Walgreens was forced to close by the property owner. Hopefully, this business will be allowed to open at this proposed location, as many residents utilized the old one heavily. As a patron of Dollar Tree and a long time resident of Richmond flat lands, I’m really excited about this!

    • Lol an Apple Store in Richmond. Look how the thieves steal from the cellphone stores. Apple would attract crime also maybe violent crimes since people do armed robberies at these places.

  7. Whatever store brings the most money and diversity to the city. An armed guard will solve the security issues quick. Grow some balls.

    • The multi-millionaire owners will not pay for security guards for their stores; that cuts into their profits. Their business model is to have the cheapest merchandise and the fewest, poorest paid employees they can get away with. Check out the media stories about these businesses.

    • Are you willing to make the owner an offer to rent the space for bulk foods or a CSA, Bets E? If you aren’t, then who do you think is? It is the business that seeks out the location, not the other way around. If that’s what you want to go in there, then you should try to make that investment (or find an investor) in that kind of business yourself. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time to dream up what could go there. Just putting it out there doesn’t make it happen. Dollar Tree thinks they can do well in this space, so they are trying to lease it. No-one sought them out to occupy this space. That’s not how it works.

  8. Please, are these people that are against a Dollar Tree in Richmond with all their silly, pretentious fuax outrage, serious? Hello, you’re Richmond! I live in Vallejo and when we jokingly reference a city to be even more ‘ghetto’ than us, we use Richmond. No disrespect intended but if the people against this business are not aware of Richmond’s very real perceived reputation, they need to get over themselves asap and concentrate on more pressing issues in their city. Thanks.

  9. The Dollar Tree in Moraga (Yes, Moraga!) ran into similar opposition when it was proposed. Today, the store seems to be thriving, and is well-patronized by the community.

  10. For the Vallejoan, that part of Richmond is different from across the tracks Richmond. Richmond as a whole is not ghetto. There are ghetto areas. Although, I don’t think having a dollar store in that location would be a bad idea. Nothing wrong with “Dollar Tree”. I miss the one near Walgreens. It was very convenient. I wonder why they closed it? Anyone know?

  11. As someone who has lived in Richmond there whole life, I hope they put a more refreshing business like a chick-fill-a, or raising canes, something you need to drive to a different city to get, to bring more attention to Richmond

  12. I say dollar tree I miss the one they had in el Cerrito where now is a DD’s. It was fine there. It would be nice to have one closer to me. I say yes dollar tree.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here