Neighbors of the 7-Eleven located behind GW Hospital said they support the convenience store staying open 24 hours, but some residents are requesting the store face a trial period before its permanent operating hours are set.
The store currently operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., but its owners want to extend operating hours to compete with businesses expected to open this year just down the street at The Avenue development.
The owners of the 7-Eleven at 912 New Hampshire Ave., Sam Mothamdi and his mother Shala Mothamdi, asked Wednesday for the support of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission in order to go before the Zoning Commission to change store hours.
Mothamdi emphasized at the ANC meeting that besides the hours of operation, nothing else about the store would change, though he’s working on enhancing security.
“We’re actually upgrading our security system. I’m buying an $8,000 system,” Mothamdi said of the security system.
Some ANC commissioners and residents leaned toward allowing 7-Eleven to extend its hours right away, but Commissioner Asher Corson requested he be able to work on establishing a trial period with the owners, as the store is in his single-member district.
The ANC passed a resolution approving the start of negotiations between Corson and the owners of the 7-Eleven. Once the trial period is set, the 7-Eleven could operate for 24 hours a day while the ANC evaluates any consequences of the change in hours.
“The trial period is to make sure that there are no negative effects to the surrounding neighborhood from going to 24 hours, and the only way to do that is to give it a shot,” Corson said. “The trial period doesn’t assume there’s a problem, it’s just making sure there isn’t one.”
The timing and length of the trial period hasn’t been determined, but if it goes well, the ANC may offer formal support for Mothamdi’s request to extend store hours.
Mothamdi has managed the 7-Eleven for the past 20 years, and had the support of a 7-Eleven market manager, Scott Teachenor, who attended the ANC meeting. He noted at the meeting that of the 6,500 7-Eleven stores around the country, only about 30 still have limited hours, and Mothamdi’s is the only location in D.C. not open 24 hours.