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Seward Park Co-op Board Approves 7-Eleven Lease

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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.

Seven board members voted in favor of the 7-Eleven proposal; four were opposed.  Those who supported the signing of the lease, which runs for 10 years and includes options for renewal, said the chain offered the co-op financial security and worthwhile services.  In recent years, the co-op has struggled to find stable businesses capable of paying their rent. Grand Spa was evicted after a long collections ordeal.

Opponents called the move short-sighted, pointing out that many Seward Park residents would prefer to see more “mom-and-pop” businesses in the retail spaces the co-op owns along Grand and Clinton streets.  They argued that independent businesses would be more in character with the historic neighborhood and would ultimately add value to the cooperative, while chain stores could potentially harm property values.

7-Eleven location on St. Mark’s Place.

Although the residents’ group had worked diligently to find prospective tenants, they concluded that an experienced commercial broker was needed to attract businesses for the retail spaces.  Last night, board members heard a presentation from a commercial brokerage company, but decided against hiring the firm for the Grand Spa space. It’s still possible a broker could be hired for future vacancies.

Any day now, another 7-Eleven location will open at 142 Delancey Street, not far from the Grand Street space.  In the past year, the chain has been aggressively expanding in Manhattan.   Residents in the East Village have been less than thrilled about new 7-Eleven outlets on the Bowery, on St. Mark’s Place and on 14th Street.

In the past few days, Seward Park residents sent about 250 emails to board members urging them to reject the 7-Eleven offer.  There are more than 1700 apartments in the sprawling complex.


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  1. The Seward Park Board members who voted in favor of leasing to 7-Eleven have demonstrated breathtaking disregard for the concerns of many Seward Park shareholders and a dishearteningly shortsighted view of the future for our co-op and our neighborhood.

    I would be interested in an explanation from the pro-7-Eleven board members as to why the “no-compete” clause was invoked in the case of other prospective tenants, but not in the case of 7-Eleven? Surely a 7-Eleven represents direct competition with Fine Fare, as both stores offer many of the same products. The lack of clarity and communication involved in this decision is disturbing.

  2. Is it possible in any way to verify the unsubstantiated claim floating around the various Seward Park message boards that Seward Park management company Greenthal will receive a year’s worth of commission (at approx $15,000/month…what does that come out to? $180,000?) from renting to 7-Eleven (as opposed to other tenants who might actually have been a better fit–and less polarizing–for the neighborhood, but who would not have brought Greenthal a comparable commission)? And that is why the non-compete clause was not invoked in the case of 7-Eleven? It would be great to know whether that is in fact true, as it certainly seems to explain (if not justify), why a majority of the board voted for 7-Eleven in the face of significant neighborhood and shareholder opposition…

  3. This is horrible. How many members of the community does it take to tell the board that we didn’t want this. We don’t want a 7-11 in our neighborhood. I think the board members that voted for this horrible store in our neighborhood should be held responsible and impeached.

  4. Oh Noes. It’s a paying tenant. And black people shop there!

    Our precious neighborhood is ruined. Why couldn’t it be a yoga coffee bar that helps prepare 2 year olds for Vassar?


  5. I agree that opening a 7-Eleven ruins a bit of the character of the neighborhood because it takes the space away from a potential mom-and-pop shop. On the other hand, it could make more people come to the neighborhood which could, in turn, support the already existing shops that don’t get as much traffic. (which is the reason a lot of mom-and-pops wouldn’t want to open there). If you don’t want to support the business then don’t go there. And Pete, I’m sorry but your comment about “black people” going there and it ruining the neighborhood is COMPLETELY racist and narrow-minded. Good luck to your 2-year old with a father that thinks like that.

  6. And good luck to you for being completely tone deaf to sarcasm.

    The only “Mom and Pop” stores around here are going to be the occasional Bodega and we already have a bunch of those. A 7-11 is no different than a Bodega except it has more products and a Japanese logo.

  7. I don’t think having a 7-11 on Grand street will bring people to our neighborhood when there are plans to build out 100+ locations in Manhattan.

    Why would someone come ALL THE WAY DOWN FROM DELANCEY street to our 7-11 on Grand Street?

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