A third 7-11 convenience store on Dorchester Avenue will close this month, this time in Fields Corner. But Massachusetts-based Richdale, which operates a chain of convenience stores, has stepped in to lease the space, according to the property owners of 1420 Dorchester Ave.
Gerry McSweeney, chief operating officer of City North Development, said 7-11 chose not to renew its lease at the Fields Corner site this month, and so they began talks with other operators.
“The good news for the neighborhood is that we have signed a new lease with Richdale Food Shops, a local operator,” McSweeney wrote in an email late last week. “We understand that Richdale has a somewhat different product mix that features more fresh food items that should be well received by the community. We hope to achieve a seamless transition at the end of this month from 7-11 to Richdale.”
The closure is the third 7-11 to vacate a storefront on Dorchester Avenue, including one last year in Ashmont’s Peabody Square and one in the plaza south of Fields Corner at 1576 Dorchester Ave. Both of the latter stores remain vacant with paper covering the windows.
Numerous emails to 7-11’s spokespeople asking for an explanation to the string of closures went unanswered over the past two weeks.
The 7-11 company is owned by Japan’s Seven & i Holdings Co. According to multiple national media reports, the company cut more than 800 corporate jobs late last year as it announced a reorganization of the company. One year earlier, 7-11 had spent $21 billion to buy out Speedway gas stations and convenience stores. As part of that deal, federal regulators pressed 7-11 to drop 200 stores nationwide. It is unknown if the Dorchester stores are part of that situation, or from the restructuring.
Dorchester still has 7-11 stores on East Cottage Street in Edward Everett Square, in Neponset by Garvey Park, and on Morrissey Boulevard, which includes a gas station. They remain open as of this week.
As for the Fields Corner location, McSweeney said its future redevelopment long term is still only on the drawing board.
A potential project calling for a new, four-story building with 41 housing units, a small commercial space, and underground parking for 27 vehicles was presented to the community at the March meeting of the Fields Corner Civic Association (FCCA).
McSweeney said with changes in interest rates, construction costs, regulatory constraints, and rental/sale costs, developers are still weighing whether to go forward.
“We are very pleased with the design efforts of RODE Architects…and would be delighted to move ahead with the redevelopment project,” he wrote. “However, a final decision cannot be made until the permitting process is complete and all market conditions and costs evaluated at that future point. Until then we won’t know whether or not the project – as the saying goes – ‘pencils out.’”
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