NORFOLK, Va. – — A year ago Tuesday, a fire ripped through the Family Dollar on Church Street, causing extensive damage.
, but now a company spokesperson tells News 3 they are anticipating reopening the store in early 2024.
The cause of the fire was later determined to be arson.
Family Dollar fire sparked in September, deemed arson per Norfolk Fire Rescue
5:40 PM, Dec 07, 2022
Fire at Norfolk Family Dollar was likely intentional
The closest grocery store to the area is 1.4 miles away at the Harris Teeter in Ghent.
“If the Family Dollar is your best food option, then you’re already in a food desert in some sense,” said Christopher Tan, the president & CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
Tan noted the area really became a food desert in 2020 when the Save A Lot grocery store closed.
“That was really a big deal for that community and then to have the Family Dollar burn down two years later really was an opportunity where we knew the residents of that community needed help,” said Tan.
That’s meant the Foodbank has stepped in, offering food drives throughout the year and now a monthly mobile food pantry near the Scope Arena.
“These are our literal neighbors in need and so we wanted to make sure we were there as a good neighbor,” said Tan.
The shopping center is owned by 720 Church Street, LLC, property records show.
Paul Peck, a representative for the LLC, told News 3 the Family Dollar is in the process of being rebuilt, but there have been issues with insurance and supply chain delays leading to the wait for the store to reopen.
Peck said they would like for a grocery store to take over the old Save A Lot, but so far no one has agreed to do it.
A spokesperson for the city of Norfolk told News 3 the city continues to be supportive of those efforts, noting this is a privately owned shopping center.
“We certainly want that to be available,” said Tan about the new grocery store possibility. “But until it’s available, the foodbank wants to do its part.”