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7-Eleven plans to triple its size, add hours on P Street

By Brady Holt Current Staff Writer

Plans to nearly triple the size of the 7-Eleven at 2617 P St. have some neighbors worrying that the expanded store could jeopardize the residential feel of their section of east Georgetown.

The convenience store has leased the adjacent P Street storefront, which reaches to the intersection with 27th Street and includes a double-door entrance at the corner. 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris said the company hopes to use that larger entrance for compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards and easier loading, instead of the existing single-door entrance on P Street.

Brad Clark, who lives a half a block away from the 7-Eleven, said the store is now nestled in the middle of the area’s small commercial strip. An expansion, and an entrance closer to residential 27th Street, would change the way it fits into the community, he said.

“Although that block is zoned commercial, they’re proposing a much larger, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week store, which would have a lot more light, more cars, traffic,” said Clark, adding, “I think most people are happy to have the 7-Eleven, but we want it to be consistent with the neighborhood, which is a residential neighborhood.”

The current store has less than 1,000 square feet of selling space, according to Chabris, which would increase to 2,800 square feet under the plans. “We want to expand it to provide a wider selection of products for our customers,” she wrote in an email. “Also, the space is rather tight and customers wait in line longer than they should.”

In the 47 years the store has been at the location, she added, it has proved itself as a good neighbor. “Our franchisee has been at this location since 1986 and is part of the fabric of the community,” Chabris wrote. “His customers love him, his wife and the store. He is an excellent operator, and we want to keep the business there going.”

7-Eleven corporate is paying for the expansion.

Clark said he and most of the neighbors he has spoken to would be comfortable with the plans if the entrance remained on P Street and if the store controlled its late-night lighting. “We don’t want them to have giant windows with fluorescent lights just spilling out into the streets all night,” he said.

Anson Franklin, who lives on P Street a few doors from the corner, said there are inherent problems with any expansion, but that he expects nothing more than minor concessions at this point.

Expanding the store will mean a greater noise problem from patrons and deliveries, Franklin said, but keeping the entrance at its existing location would at least keep those problems farther from his home. “They need to make some effort to protect the character of our neighborhood,” he said.

Chabris said 7-Eleven plans to meet with residents to discuss the plans, as many neighbors have requested. Although the company has completed its construction plans, it doesn’t yet have Old Georgetown Board approval or building permits from the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, she said, so a target completion date hasn’t been set yet.

This article appears in the Nov. 16 issue of The Georgetown Current newspaper.