DOVER, Fla. - Thursday marked a sad day for many as a fixture in the local farming community is forced to close its doors because of eminent domain.
Beginning at 8 a.m., the entire inventory at Harold’s Feed and Pet Supply is on sale. Everything must go. The landmark store has been open for decades. As early as 6:30 a.m., staff could be seen making last-minute preparations as they readied the business for its final customers.
After nearly 50 years in business, Harold’s is getting knocked down to make way for a planned state-road expansion. The state acquired the land through eminent domain laws. The Florida Department of Transportation is planning to reconstruct State Road 574 from East Kingsway Road to East McIntosh Road, widening the highway from two to four lanes.
The project comes at a $4.7 million design cost with a $26 million right-of-way cost. Harold's is in the way. Despite years of legal battles, it'll soon be gone. The store has become somewhat of a community center over the years, with loyal customers described by the owners as being more like family.
The store is located at 12990 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dover. The total liquidation sale runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Sundays through March 31. The owners are calling on members of the rural Dover and Plant City community who've supported them for years to once again come out and help keep them solvent in this forced going-out-of-business sale.
FDOT told FOX 13 that the department paid $1,995,000 for the property. That amount includes attorney’s fees. FDOT said Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply is still eligible for relocation payments under the state's right of way procedures.
The owners have 18 months to claim this money from the day they complete their move or otherwise surrender possession of the site.