Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Map: There are a ton of existing 7-Elevens near the two proposed 7-Elevens in our area

Last week, I wrote about a petition started by neighbors opposed to a 7-Eleven coming to 14th and Florida. One of their arguments is that there are already many similar businesses nearby -- convenience stores, groceries and markets.

I made a map of the 7-Elevens and found there are many less than a mile from two planned stores at 14th and Florida and 14th and Quincy. (The proposed 7-Elevens are red, existing green, and CVS and Walgreens the tan dots.)

There are eight 7-Elevens and five CVS locations within 0.8 miles of the one planned for 14th and Florida while the 7-Eleven coming to 14th and Quincy has three 7-Elevens and two CVS locations within 0.7 miles. The closest existing 7-Elevens to the planned ones in both cases are 5 blocks away.

Here's the full argument on the anti-7-Eleven petition, which as of writing is up to 235 signers:
We are a community, we are a neighborhood, we are families and friends. We care about how our neighbors treat each other, how the streetscape is maintained and we care to improve our surroundings.

We are happily satisfied with the neighborhood retail services today such as: Streets, Smucker Farms, Yes Organic, CVS and TraderJoes, yet we are very concerned about 7/11 entering our neighborhood. We believe that 7/11 will diminish and detract from our neighborhood, nor do we see it adding any value to our lives. We feel that, at best, 7/11 will just cannibalize existing businesses, assuming anyone was to patronize the establishment. Therefore, this location is not only unsatisfactory to the neighbors, but it is also a bad investment for 7/11. A bad investment for 7/11 is also a bad bet for the landlord jeopardizing their investment too. No one wins in this scenario. 
If you care about the future of our neighborhood and don't want to see a 7/11, or worse, a failed 7/11 take up a prominent corner, then please object by endorsing this petition.
Now I get why a franchisee would want to open a 7-Eleven: they're a known chain brand and you probably get most stuff provided to you, ready to go. But there are so many of them already. I would much prefer these were something else: a local market, a restaurant, a coffee shop (upper 14th could certainly use one) or pretty much anything else aside from a cell phone store or a bank, which are both terrible for foot traffic.

And another reason is that I don't want this area to be full of chains. At least they are sticking to 14th Street, but our area doesn't need to look like everywhere else. I wrote about this at length in 2011, but I think it's a bit different: especially at 14th and Quincy, there are no chains around, just interesting local businesses. 14th and Florida is the mostly same way, but there are a few chains around there.

I just wish we had some variety. And I really love Slurpees, so I'm going against my interest here. What do you think? More 7-Elevens?


  1. I bet the neighbors would FLIP OUT if it were a 7-11 adjoining a Subway sandwich shop!

  2. The free market will determine if it is a good location. Quit the crying.

  3. Little orphan aynnieJuly 14, 2015 at 10:34 PM

    We should just put in a nuclear waste dump and refinery, who needs zoning

  4. I'm strongly opposed, but don't know what to do about it.

  5. Good question. Aside from the petition, contact Brianne Nadeau, your Ward 1 councilmember? And your ANC commissioner?

  6. Chris in EckingtonJuly 18, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    Apparently 7-11 corporate recently changed their business model; whereas previously a new 7-11 wouldn't be franchised to open within x miles of a previously existing one, now they can open where ever they want. Sort of the like the saturation model of Starbucks. This is why you have a new 7-11 opening on Pennsylvania Ave on Capitol Hill right around the corner from an older one on Barracks row. The neighbors there aren't too happy about it either. My experience with the ones in northeast and southeast is that they attract a lot of panhandlers.

  7. I think this article gets to the heart of the issue here.

    "#NewDC yuppies move to stop a 7-11 from opening in a gentrifying neighborhood they’d never have touched 15 years ago. But they’re really objecting to its customer type."


  8. Eric, that's quite the generalization. As I mentioned, I don't like it because there are a ton of them already within 0.8 miles. It could be a much better utilized space. We don't need another one, let alone two new ones.

  9. U Street Resident just arrived 18 years agoJuly 23, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    There are plenty of businesses in the neighborhood that don't cater to my tastes but I don't protest their existence. Instead, if neighbors have a problem with the externalities generated by a business (noise, trash, loitering, intrusive signage, whatever) they should focus on those harms and not on the business itself.

    As for the abundance of 7-11 stores nearby, the idea of a convenience store is that you don't have to walk more than 2 blocks to use it. If the competition is really so intense and there isn't demand for yet another convenience store, then the store will fail. The high turnover of businesses in the U street and 14th Street corridors attests to the ruthless efficiency of the market.

    Neighbors need to chill out and check their biases. I suspect a lot of the knee jerk negative reaction to 7-11 has to do with the fear that these businesses will serve/attract "them" and not "us."

  10. That may be some people's opinions, but not mine. I like our area because it's a neighborhood, it's got a lot going on, and it's not full of chains like the suburbs. We don't need a 7-Eleven every few blocks, there are plenty of corner stores, CVS, and grocery stores already. If I wanted to live somewhere that looked like everywhere else, I'd move to Herndon or Manassas.


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