Students will soon be able to enjoy slurpees and Slim Jims 24 hours a day when a 7-Eleven store opens in Mitchell Hall next fall.
Cynthia Baker, public relations manager for 7-Eleven Inc., the company’s international branch, said the store is set to open in fall 2004, with construction beginning early next year. She said 7-Eleven is in the process of securing city zoning permits to build the store in the Mitchell Hall lower level, which has been vacant since Subway and Bene Pizza moved to J Street this summer.
“7-Eleven at Mitchell Hall will make available a wide variety of products in a convenient location for students who live in and take classes near Mitchell Hall,” said Michele Beamer, project manager for GW’s office of business and operations.
Baker said 7-Eleven, which opened a store last year at Temple University, has embarked on a campaign to locate stores on or near college campuses.
“We’re always looking for unique and different places to locate stores,” she said.
University officials said they chose 7-Eleven to occupy the Mitchell Hall floor after receiving positive feedback about the store in student surveys conducted by the Office of Student and Academic Support Services.
In another development, a local 7-Eleven store, faced with unyielding opposition from some Foggy Bottom residents, failed Tuesday to obtain permission to operate 24 hours a day.
The store, located at 912 New Hampshire Ave. near City Hall, will continue to stay open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily because of residents’ concerns about traffic and noise they said would result from expanding its hours.
The Board of Zoning Adjustment, a five-member panel that rules on city zoning issues, held a hearing at which 7-Eleven formally dropped its petition.
Nancy Wade, the store’s general manager, said at the hearing that 7-Eleven would not be reapplying for extended hours because of considerable opposition from residents.
“We are fine with dropping 24 hours,” she said “These residents fight hard to make sure the neighborhood is preserved, and I respect that.”
Members of the Foggy Bottom Association and the Advisory Neighborhood Committee said that expanding 7-Eleven’s hours would only bring an increase in trash, noise, traffic and crime.
“The proposed 24 hour operation would encourage the 7-Eleven to be used as a hang-out during late hours,” Foggy Bottom resident Harold Talisman said in a statement to the BZA.
“There was not a compelling need for it to be open 24 hours,” said David Lehrman of the ANC, a civic organization that debates issues that affect the community.
Lehrman said the impasse over extended hours was a “classic conflict between merchants wanting to make money and the preservation of the community.”
Baker, of 7-Eleven Inc., said out of the thousands of 7-Eleven stores across the country, only a handful do not operate 24 hours a day.
“Sometimes we have to go with regulations that go with different communities,” said Baker, adding that the only other store she knows of that is not open 24 hours a day is located at 7-Eleven headquarters in Dallas.
This article appeared in the September 25, 2003 issue of the Hatchet.