E. Village warpath against 7-Eleven
East Villagers are rallying for a zoning amendment to ban 7-Elevens and other chains from infiltrating their neighborhood.
“Why do people come to New York? Do they come from the suburbs to go to a 7-Eleven?” said Rob Hollander, an organizer with the group No 7-Eleven. “New York has everything, every kind of food and service. But it’s going in the direction of the suburban mall.”
Under proposals from Hollander’s group and the East Village Community Coalition, corporations would have to seek community-board approval before setting up shop.
Hollander and other angry residents have held rallies at 11th Street and Avenue A — the proposed site of Alphabet City’s first 7-Eleven franchise — and “bodega walks” to support mom-and-pop shops.
Sara Romanoski, director of the East Village Community Coalition, said her group plans to present anti-chain-store proposals to the community board in the coming weeks.
“The East Village has such a unique feeling to it and an anti-establishment history,” she said. “We need to preserve it.”
Activists face an uphill battle. The East Village has the second-highest number of chain stores in Manhattan with 179 locations — just behind the Garment District and Koreatown area, which has 180, according to a study by the Center for an Urban Future.