Thursday, March 21, 2013

7-Eleven and gentrification

An objector to NO 7-Eleven thinks that somehow 7-Elevens prevent gentrification or that restricting 7-Elevens will lead to the East Village becoming a gated community.

7-Elevens have appeared on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side. The Scarano condos, the most upscale development on the Bowery, boasting a "gated driveway" -- it doesn't get closer to a gated community in this neighborhood -- has in its commercial storefront...yes, a 7-Eleven. 

So if 7-Eleven doesn't prevent gentrification and appears in the most upscale environments, would restricting 7-Eleven lead towards a gated community? Suppose SoHo-type boutiques or more upscale restaurants move in where 7-Eleven wasn't allowed. Would they drive out rent regulated or subsidized residents? 

There's no mechansim between commercial upscaling and evicting rent regulated and subsidized tenants. The pressure on tenants already exists in the residential market, since the EV is already upscale. But even NYCHA's plan to build market-rate housing doesn't threaten subsidized housing -- it's intended to maintain it. 

Restricting corporate formula stores will drive low-income residents to search harder for fast food options and rely more on supermarkets which provide both cheaper and better food than corporate formula stores. So that is the burden. But maybe low-income residents will discover the 6th Street Community Center and its healthy food co-operative. Sounds like a happy ending. 

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