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.
Durant said the company plans to solicit feedback from community members about what sorts of products and services people would like to see in the store. A meeting is tentatively scheduled for June. The co-op has already weighed in on the type of signage to be used at the Grand Street location. While some residents welcome the arrival of 7-Eleven, others say it’s another sign of the suburbanization of New York City and health threat to children. In the northern sections of the neighborhood, a group called “No 7-Eleven” has been protesting the chain invasion in the East Village.