Residents Urge Seward Park Board to Reject 7-Eleven

403 Grand Street.

The residents of the Seward Park Cooperative are getting riled up again! As we reported the other day, the co-op board is re-considering a proposal from 7-Eleven to take over a large space once occupied by the Grand Spa at 403 Grand Street.

When the plan first became public in the spring, residents mobilized, organized a petition drive and began searching for alternative tenants. They managed to find a business, Tribeca Pediatrics, for a smaller storefront, but for one reason or another none of the prospects (including a small grocery store) has panned out for the larger space. In advance of tomorrow night’s board of directors meeting in which the 7-Eleven offer is once again on the table, residents are making their voices heard.

One Seward Park shareholder, Marijke Briggs, is encouraging neighbors to email board members today. The email she sent read:

MY FAMILY AND I DO NOT WANT 7-11 ON OUR PROPERTY!!! WE IMPLORE YOU TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL BROKER WHO SPECIALIZES IN RETAIL LEASING TO PROPERLY MARKET THE FORMER GRAND SPA SPACE AND FUTURE VACANCIES, AS WELL. 7-11 IS FULL OF POISONOUS AND CHEMICAL FILLED ‘FOOD’ & ‘DRINKS’ AND DOES NOT REPRESENT THE NEEDS OR WANTS OF RESIDENTS OF THE GRAND STREET CO-OPS. THIS CHAIN STORE WILL DRAW A CLIENTELE THAT BELONGS SHOPPING ON DELANCY STREET, NOT GRAND STREET. WE WILL NOT SHOP AT 7-11 OR ANY OTHER SUCH ESTABLISHMENT.

It should be noted that plenty of Seward Park residents are in favor of 7-Eleven taking over the space. Last week, board President Wei-Li Tjong told us the co-op is trying to navigate competing priorities. “The balance to be struck is really between securing a good stream of income in the short-term,” he said, “and risking leaving the space un-rented for some time in order to find a tenant that brings not only rental income, but adds strategic developmental value to the commercial strip.”

We’ll have a followup after tomorrow night’s board meeting.

  • Mitch Weinstein

    First of all, I like the all caps and exclamation points – really gets your idea across. So professional.

    As for a professional broker, isn’t that who has been working on the space for the past 3 months?
    Poisonous and chemical filled drinks are available everywhere, but who says you have to buy them?
    And by the way, nice little picture you paint about clientele that belongs shopping on Delancey Street…because, you know, Grand St. is so much nicer.

  • Mike

    I’d like to comment that the sentiment of “this chain store will draw a clientele that belongs shopping on Delancy Street, not Grand Street” is not one that all coop residents support, seeing as how those are some inflammatory words.

  • JHeff

    inflammatory = racist

  • lowereastsider

    Stop the nonsense. Lets let 7-11 open in the space.If you choose not to go there then don’t. A few cry babies should not have their way because they don’t like 7-11. The petitions were not a true reflection of those living in the coop

  • ruinart

    I think the point perhaps is that there is already a 7-Eleven on Delancey Street, so those who want to shop there can do so, and many of us who live on Grand Street do not want those sort of stores in our immediate environment. It’s great that we have this opportunity to shape the future of our neighborhood in a positive way and I hope the Seward Park board pays heed.

  • oldtimer

    What does it matter that there is one on Delancey St. That has nothing to do with the fact that if 7-11 feels that it can make it on Grand St then it should get the ok. Stop with the excuses already.

  • Pete

    “THIS CHAIN STORE WILL DRAW A CLIENTELE THAT BELONGS SHOPPING ON DELANCY STREET, NOT GRAND STREET.”

    Is it just me or is that Briggs message kind of racist?

    Delancey Street shopping is more black and hispanic. Is racism the reason behind the 7-11 opposition?

  • ruinart

    The point is that many of us who live on Grand Street do not want a 7-Eleven in the neighborhood. It will not have a good effect on our property values or on our immediate environment. If you absolutely cannot live without shopping at 7-Eleven, then one is available to you: on Delancey Street. Leasing Seward Park’s commercial spaces to the most undesirable of chain stores, like 7-Eleven, is a very shortsighted approach.

  • ruinart

    I think the opposition to 7-Eleven is a matter more of commonsense and taste. The presence of chain stores is never going to add value in a residential neighborhood. I doubt that prospective apartment buyers in Seward Park are going to be thrilled to have to walk past a strip mall every day. I certainly would not be.

  • alyce1213

    Yeah, Grand Street is much, much nicer, as a matter of fact. This is a quality of life issue. 7-11 has a clientele that is clearly transient. Delancey is a very commercial street and 7-11 fits. Grand does have commerce, of course — small businesses, lots of Mom-and-Pop stores. However, it is overwhelmingly residential. Funny that someone as professional as you can’t distinguish the difference. Seward must consider the opinion and needs of the residents first and foremost.

  • alyce1213

    I believe it means transient and nothing more.

  • alyce1213

    Nor would I.

  • Moretothestory

    Mitch- the space has actually not been marketed at all via a traditional commercial broker. Some volunteers have worked to find a tenant but without a marketing budget or even the keys to show prospects. Furermore 7/11 came to the co-op via Greenthal as a result of an inquiry from 7/11’s broker for one of Greenthal’s other properties under management. They were then steered down here prior to the eviction of the former tenant The spa space was never put into the central listing service that is commonplace for any commercial listing in the city. Whether you like 7/11 or not it is a fact that only volunteers worked on the space and yet commissions will be paid for services not rendered in this case. Greenthal does not even have a marketing arm or dedicated agent to focus solely on such efforts. I think most in the community would be more accepting if the effort was done at army’s length and done with a professional process. However this was not the case, at all.

  • barkomatic

    There is a 7-11 going in at the end of my block in Chelsea and I’m thrilled. It’s amazing that people will put up with rat and roach infested delis but a “chain store”?! Oh mercy no, not that! Silly.

  • IKM

    Indeed, most of the Seward Park residents I’ve spoken with agree that the bright, logo-covered chain store frontage would bring down the appearance of the whole block–even if they don’t all agree with the assessment of 7-11’s unhealthy products.

  • LESman

    Agreed except we have no delis in our current commercial space and have no plans to add any. So in our case 7-11 is potentially in lieu of a restaurant or retailer of another type. And, we’d love to have a chain store that offers incremental or complimentary goods and services to what already exists in our trade area.

  • The Truth

    I, myself have spoken with over 600, I mean 1 million people who live in Seward park……. each and everyone of them want to see the 7-11 opened in the spa space. To those that are too Prominent or too health conscious to breathe the air that may escape a 7-11 ……I say move to Sutton Place or Park Slope…….it’s time to get over yourselves already….save your Drama for your move to the theatre district!

  • MB

    My comments are by no means racist. The clientele of which I speak refers to transient people who care little for our neighborhood. Do you think the owner of 7-11 cares what our neighborhood looks like, that cars will be double parked and people will leave their trash on our sidewalk? Delancy Street is a heavily trafficked commercial zone. Grand Street is a neighborhood. I personally feel adamantly that chain stores don’t belong on our residencial street.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1293199102 Manny Morales

    It’s a 7 11. Not an abortion clinic. Oh wait, that would probably be more desirable.