"I would have preferred another business not already in the 5th Ward at that location," Hairston said. "There is a Dollar Tree at 87th and Stony Island, and a Family Dollar store at 71st and Dorchester. [The community doesn't] need another one."
Instead of a 12,000-square-foot Dollar Tree, Hairston said a restaurant would have been ideal.
"For some reason, corporate America does not want to open businesses in the black community even though our money is green, too," Hairston said. "The building was privately owned so I did not find out anything until after the building was sold. That's when Dollar Tree contacted me."
The store is tentatively set to open Sept. 21, according to Shelle Davis, a spokeswoman for Dollar Tree Inc.
"We are excited about servicing the community and welcome the opportunity to work with the alderman and residents," Davis said.
The new Dollar Tree will be surrounded by several other businesses, including a Starbucks across the street and a Church's Chicken and Save A Lot grocery store next door.
The new location means Rita Ross will no longer have to drive two miles to the next closest Dollar Tree store.
"I like Dollar Tree. They have some good stuff at low prices I can afford," said Ross, 52, who lives in the 7300 block of East End Avenue. "All we need around here now is a Walmart."
Nicole Waters, 65, said she missed Moo & Oink and had hoped another meat store would have replaced it.
"There's nowhere to go around here that sells fresh meat like Moo & Oink. I was able to go to Moo & Oink and tell them how to carve up my catfish," Waters said. "Now, when I go to the grocery store I have to buy my fish already sliced and packaged up."