You may have noticed the “75% off” sale signs pasted all over the 7-Eleven store at 403 Grand St. There’s a reason for that, of course. The chain store’s landlord, the Seward Park Cooperative, confirmed last night that 7-Eleven is closing this location at the end of August.
Back in 2013, there was a huge controversy over the Grand Street lease. While the co-op was looking for a stable commercial tenant, many local residents were strongly opposed to a national chain coming to this stretch of Grand Street.
Doron Stember, a board member at Seward Park, tells us management received a letter from 7-Eleven’s corporate offices advising the co-op that the company would be vacating the space with several years remaining on its lease. There are significant penalties in the lease for breaking the agreement, meaning 7-Eleven will be paying rent at 403 Grand for many months. Stember said 7-Eleven did not specify why it’s walking away from the Lower East Side store.
According to a memo sent to Seward Park residents Tuesday morning, 7-Eleven had a “corporate guarantee” for the first five years (that amounted to almost $1 million in rent). The early termination clause requires the company to pay $174,000 for terminating the lease (that’s equivalent to 13 months of rent).
Meanwhile, more chain stores are set to open directly across the street. Target opens a new store this week as part of the Essex Crossing project, and Trader Joe’s will be following suit in the same building in the early fall.
403 Grand St.
If you haven’t walked past Grand Street (near Clinton) lately, here’s the new signage outside the 7-Eleven store poised to open in a commercial strip owned by the Seward Park Co-op. Last month, 7-Eleven officials said they envisioned a late July opening. Co-op management had some say over the signage, which varies somewhat from location to location.
Last night, 7-Eleven corporate executives came face-to-face with Lower East Side residents, some of whom were previously determined to keep the ubiquitous convenience store from moving into a storefront at 403 Grand St. They received a mixed reception.
The No 7-Eleven group is putting the word out about an event being held tomorrow night at the Seward Park Co-op — a community input session regarding the new store opening at 403 Grand St.
Here’s a sign that popped up in the window of the future 7-Eleven store at 403 Grand Street yesterday, seeking a franchisee to operate this location in the Seward Park Co-op. As we indicated last month, the corporate giant is finally moving ahead with renovations, after signing a 10-year lease in the former Grand Spa space last summer. Residents both within the co-op and elsewhere in the neighborhood campaigned against 7-Eleven, but another tenant willing to meet the co-op board’s terms could not be found.
The store has been presented to the community as a “corporate” location. In other instances, 7-Eleven has opened stores, and then later converted them to franchises once local owner/operators were identified. This was the case with another 7-Eleven outpost at 142 Delancey Street. According to the company’s web site, it’s still available as a franchise opportunity. But Seward Park General Manager Frank Durant tells us this morning the Grand Street location is definitely a permanent corporate store, the signage was put up by mistake and it’s going to be removed.
142 Delancey Street.
7-Eleven now has its first outpost on the Lower East Side below East Houston Street. A new corporate location at 142 Delancey Street opened for business yesterday. The chain store is located within the old Loew’s Delancey Theater building, which also includes a Burger King and an AT&T store. In August, the Seward Park Co-op agreed to lease a space at 403 Grand Street to 7-Eleven for another branch of the international chain, in spite of strong opposition from a large residents’ group. That space is being leased to Chabad of the Lower East Side on a short-term basis. The company is in the midst of a huge expansion throughout Manhattan. Several locations have popped up in the East Village, including on the Bowery and on St. Mark’s Place.
403 Grand Street.
Last night, the Seward Park Co-op board of directors voted to approve a lease for 7-Eleven, clearing the way for the ubiquitous chain to open a new location at 403 Grand Street.
The board was poised to vote for 7-Eleven this past May, but a group of residents protested the move, prevailing upon their leadership to hold off while a search for alternative tenants was launched. The group contacted dozens of prospects and managed to find a business, Tribeca Pediatrics, for a neighboring storefront that was originally destined to become a Dunkin’ Donuts.
But for a variety of reasons none of the potential tenants for the larger space, once occupied by the Grand Spa, were accepted by the board. Among the complications: “no compete” clauses embedded in the leases of some existing tenants.
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.
409 Grand Street, the former home of Roots & Vines.
In the past several months, there has been no shortage of speculation and debate about what should become of two empty storefronts on Grand Street, east of Essex. Now there’s at least a partial answer. Tribeca Pediatrics, which has offices across the city, will be moving into the space formerly occupied by the Roots & Vines coffee shop at 403 Grand Street. Leslie Pennypacker, Tribeca Pediatrics’ manager, confirmed yesterday that there’s now a signed lease.
Controversy erupted last spring when the co-op board decided to lease the space to a Dunkin’ Donuts and to sign a long-term agreement with 7-Eleven for a larger space in the same retail strip. Residents launched a petition drive against the chain stores, prompting the board to back away from the deals. They then proceeded to search out other tenants. A leader of the group, Auguste Olson, told us yesterday she’s thrilled that families living in the co-op, as well as in the surrounding neighborhood, will have a great new resource for high quality medical care. “It really shows that when we come together we can really make things happen,” she said.
Progress at the site of a planned 7-Eleven on Delancey Street.
While controversy about the arrival of chain stores on the Lower East Side continues, 7-Eleven is forging ahead with its new location at 142 Delancey Street, directly next to an existing Dunkin’ Donuts. The store’s renovation seems to be progressing, and some signage bearing the chain’s logo recently appeared in the windows.
142 Delancey Street.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts increasing their corporate profiles on the Lower East Side. A few weeks ago, residents turned back (at least temporarily) a proposal to lease storefronts on Grand Street to the two chain stores. But as some of those same newly active neighbors have noticed, 7-Eleven has also had its sights on a location just two blocks away — a space next door to a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise at 142 Delancey Street.
Work has been going on here for quite awhile. Buildings Department permits were first filed late last year. The news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It was reported this week that 7-Eleven plans to open 630 new stores in North America this year, breaking a company record set last year.
A press release picked up by a retail trade publication spelled out 7-Eleven’s intentions:
“7-Eleven’s U.S. growth strategy includes building greater market presence and adding quality locations in metropolitan areas where the company already has stores as a means to increase efficiencies and leverage the company’s scale and daily-delivery structure,” said 7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto in a statement. Approximately 56% of 7-Eleven’s 2011 U.S. store growth was the result of acquisitions that increased store density in New York, Florida, Illinois, Colorado and the Northwest… “Year to date, 7-Eleven already has added more than 200 new locations in North America,” said real estate vice president Dan Porter. “We believe we are adding more new locations around the world than any other company and are the second fastest-growing food retailer in the U.S., based on new store openings.”
Meanwhile, the Seward Park Co-op (owner of the Grand Street spaces), aided by residents, is still evaluating alternatives to the chains.
7-Eleven has its eye on the Grand Spa space at 403 Grand Street.
As we indicated yesterday, the board of the Seward Park Cooperative met last night to discuss whether to lease two retail spaces it owns to 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts. A group of residents and other members of the community mobilized to oppose the looming decision, forcing the board to reconsider. During the meeting, they decided to hold off for the time being on renting the spaces to the large chain outlets. The residents, who launched an online petition, have been speaking with other businesses, some of them small/independent retailers, about coming to Seward Park. The board and the co-op’s management company, Charles H. Greenthal Co., will look at other prospective tenants before making any leasing decisions.
Roots & Vines, 409 Grand St., shuttered last month. It may be destined for rebirth as a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Rumors circulating among Grand Street residents about the possibility of two corporate chains moving into commercial storefronts owned by the Seward Park Co-op are generating a wave of backlash and an online petition in opposition.
Word on the street this weekend was that the Grand Spa at 403 Grand St. and the recently shuttered Roots & Vines cafe three doors down would be converted to a 24-hour 7-Eleven convenience store and a Dunkin’ Donuts, respectively.
This morning, protesters launched a drive to collect signatures; as of 2:15 p.m. they had gathered 91 supporters.