Report: Lower East Side Adds 10 Chain Stores in 2013

The Center for an Urban Future is out with its annual report on chain stores in New York City.  While the overall numbers on the Lower East Side are still relatively low compared with other neighborhoods, the survey indicates the LES saw more growth than all but one NYC community in 2013.

New Signs: Dunkin’ Donuts at 351 Grand St.

351 Grand St.

351 Grand St.

Back in May we noted the impending arrival of another chain store on the Lower East Side – a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise at 351 Grand St.  Now the promotional push has begun, as you can see from the signage outside the storefront, which is located across from the Seward Park High School campus. There’s also a “now hiring” placard in the window.

 

Dunkin’ Donuts Coming to 351 Grand St

351 grand street

351 Grand St.

A new Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to 351 Grand Street, just to the west of Essex.  Paperwork was filed recently with the Buildings Department for the renovation of a storefront previously occupied by Grand Health Pharmacy, which moved to another space a couple of doors down.  Our understanding is that this is a franchise operation, rather than a corporate-owned store.

The shop will join two other chains – -Papa John’s and Subway Sandwiches — surrounding the Seward Park High School campus. The Dunkin’ Donuts will be located just two doors away from an independent business, Flowers Cafe.

Last year, a Dunkin’ Donuts store was slated for 409 Grand St., in a strip of retail shops owned by the Seward Park Co-op. Residents launched a campaign against the donut shop and recruited another tenant, Tribeca Pediatrics, for the space. A similar campaign targeting 7-Eleven was unsuccessful. The convenience store chain recently began renovations on a new location at 403 Grand St.

 

Chain Stores Did Not Grow in 2012 on the Lower East Side

7-Eleven opened a new store at 142 Delancey Street in September.

This report came out earlier in the week, but we haven’t had a chance to take a look at it before now.  The Center for an Urban Future released its fifth annual survey, “State of the Chains,” which tracks the growth of national chains in New York City.

We looked at the chain store issue in the cover story of our July print magazine.  This year, there was a lot of debate in the neighborhood, mostly surrounding the invasion of the LES by 7-Eleven.  In our story we noted that the 2011 report from the center found there were 37 national chain stores in area code 10002, which encompasses much of the Lower East Side and Chinatown.  What’s the story this year? According to the researchers, there were 36 retail stores run by national chains when the survey was conducted during the summer.

In all of New York City, the report found, the number of chains grew in the past year by 2.4%.  There are just over 7,000 chain locations in the five boroughs.  The companies with the most stores in NYC are: Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway and Starbucks.  7-Eleven now has 98 locations in the city, up from 83 last year.

The East Village (area code 10003) clocked in with 179 chain stores, up 12 from 2011.  The EV has more chain outlets than any other neighborhood besides New Springville on Staten Island and the Garment District/Koreatown.

The full report is available on the center’s web site.

 

High Anxiety as 7-Eleven Takes Aim at Bodegas

7-Eleven opened a new store at 142 Delancey Street last week.

The Wall Street Journal this week takes a look at 7-Eleven’s conquest of New York City, noting that some bodega owners feel threatened by the big chain that boasts more than 47,000 locations worldwide.  The company is planning to open 30 new stores in the city during the next five years (there are already 100 or so 7-Eleven’s in the five boroughs).  As we indicated last Thursday, a new outlet just opened at 142 Delancey Street.  Another store is coming to 403 Grand Street.

The Center for an Urban Future is about to release its annual report tracking chain stores in the city.  The survey will show that 7-Eleven is the 15th largest chain in New York (it was 26th largest in 2008).  The chain has been aggressively wooing bodega owners, trying to cajole them into converting their small businesses to 7-Eleven franchises.  Recently officials from the company met with members of the Bodega Association of the U.S.  Association President Ramon Murphy told the Journal, “The main thing is, let’s educate our members, let’s be prepared for competition. If you want to be 7-Eleven, great. You don’t want it, I’ll help you, too. We want to keep the bodega in New York.”

7-Eleven Moving Closer to Opening on Delancey Street

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.

Dodging the Chains: In Search of a Local Marketplace on the LES

The cover of out July magazine. Cover montage by Mark A. Ward.

Editor’s note: Our July print magazine has hit the streets.  If you haven’t been able to pick up a copy (we’ll post a list of locations later today), here’s the online version of our cover story:

Mark Hernandez is not one to back away from a challenge. About a year and a half ago, he opened Berkli Parc, a casual cafe on the corner of Delancey and Allen streets, located diagonally from a Starbucks and across the street from a Subway sandwich shop. Hernandez, a local resident, concedes it’s a lot of competition for one intersection, but he’s not intimidated by the national chains that are his neighbors. Berkli Parc is holding its own, and customers are cheering Hernandez on. They tell him, “Hey, that’s awesome that you had the guts to do that, to open up right across from Starbucks.”

In recent months, as national chains continued their colonization of the East Village’s storefronts to the north, Lower East Side residents, business owners and community leaders have become wary of big corporate retailers beginning to turn their attention — and their cash registers — south of Houston Street.

New Petition in Support of Dunkin’ Donuts, 7-Eleven on Grand Street

7-11 had been looking at the the Grand Spa location at 403 Grand Street.

Earlier this week the Seward Park Co-op agreed to hold off (at least temporarily) from renting space to 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts, after a residents’ group launched a petition drive opposing the chain stores.  Now another petition has emerged  — this one in support of the chains.

The petition reads:

Our neighborhood could be home to a 7-Eleven and Dunkin Donuts! There are two commercial spaces on Grand Street just west of Clinton Street that the Seward Park Board of Directors was going to bring a 7-Eleven and Dunkin Donuts to. Unfortunately, some local residents feel that this would not be a good addition to the neighborhood. We will not get into their reasoning but we will point out the positives of having these two stores. The stores are open early and late which is something that will help make Grand Street safer… They both run very clean operations… They have great products that everyone can enjoy… If you are from Seward Park an added bonus is that they are strong tenants and they will pay top rents. Seward Park has had a bad history with their commercial tenants. The commercial tenants currently owe over $100,000 in back rents.  A petition was circulated against bringing these stores in and convinced the Seward Park Board of Directors to retract their approval and put the deals on hold for three weeks so that alternative retailers could be tracked down. If you feel that these stores would be a great addition to the neighborhood or you feel that they will financially benefit the Co-Op, then sign this petition and lets show the Seward Park board that there are people who are in favor of this.

There are only five signatures so far. We’ll see what happens over the next several days.

Seward Park Board Backs Away From 7-Eleven, Dunkin’ Donuts Leases

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.

 

More on the Grand Street Chain Store Debate

7-Eleven has its eye on the Grand Spa location, at 403 Grand Street.

Here’s an update on the great chain store brouhaha on Grand Street. A week ago, residents of the sprawling Seward Park Cooperative began circulating an online petition to stop their board from signing leases with 7-Eleven and a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee. Tonight, board members will meet to discuss the situation, which (in typical fashion) has divided the shareholders of the large housing complex east of Essex Street.

Frank Durant, Seward Park’s general manager, declined to comment until the board makes up its mind. Eric Mandelbaum, the president of the board, has not responded to an interview request.   A new board member, John Ryan, told us in a statement he is “not a fan of having chain stores in our commercial spaces” but since the co-op is “potentially writing off several hundred thousand dollars annually from non-paying commercial tenants” all options (including the possibility of leasing to chain outlets) needed to be considered.