We have spoken in the past about gentrification and transformation in some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods. These concerns are coming to light in the Lower East Side of Manhattan where a 7-11 is slated to open in the coming months. Area residents are trying to stop the opening of the chain store claiming it will hurt local business. Some are even looking as far as San Francisco, where a city law bans the opening of chain establishments without explicit neighborhood approval, hoping to recreate such a law in New York City’s legislature.
Although 7-11 stores have opened at a rapid pace around the city in the past decade, they have faced resistance in and around the Lower East Side. Some residents complain of a suburbanization of the LES, claiming chain establishments will drive out local business and destroy what makes the neighborhood special. Some residents see it as a battle between the older, middle class demographic of the LES and the newer, richer presence in the area.
So far the community has not garnered a response from city officials. Although protesters admit it may be too late to stop this particular 7-11 from opening, they see this as an opportunity to further the debate about chain stores in New York City.