Workers broke ground on the corner of Cypress Avenue and Flanders Road in Flanders earlier this month, laying the foundation for a new 7-Eleven convenience store that should be up and running by the end of the summer.
“I’ve got no problems with it,” Flanders Citizens Advisory Committee President Rich Naso said last week. “We do need something locally, and the good thing about 7-Eleven itself is, initially, it brings controversy, but after few months people will run to it at oddball hours.”
The plan calls for the construction of a 3,000-square-foot building and 27 parking spaces on the three-quarter-acre property. The main entrance will be on Flanders Road and there will be an additional entrance for deliveries along Cypress Avenue, according to Southampton Town Planner Claire Vail. The site plan is expected to gain re-approval from her department by the end of this week.
The land was originally purchased for $740,000 in 2009 by Bryan Whalen, a developer from East Quogue. Mr. Whalen initially faced much public opposition and ultimately let his site plan approval and building permit to construct a convenience store expire with Southampton Town. He then sold the lot to Flanders Holding LLC in December for the same price.
Improvements to the site plan, including minor tweaks to lighting fixtures and window placement, are set to go before the town’s Planning Department later this week, Ms. Vail said. The new construction manager, Dave Dombrowski, expects the store to be completed and ready to open within 90 days. He said the 7-Eleven chain will lease the building from Flanders Holding LLC.
In 2009, members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association (FRNCA), expressed concerns with adding another convenience store to the hamlet. When Mr. Whalen presented his plan, residents, including current Town Councilman Brad Bender, who served as FRNCA president at the time, raised concerns about the already heavy traffic on Flanders Road, as well as creating another “hangout” for both laborers and the homeless. They also stated that the hamlet already has enough delis and convenience stores.
Some people, including Mr. Bender, still feel that way.
“Convenience is not what’s needed by this community that has numerous delis and gas stations with convenience items as well,” Mr. Bender wrote in an email this week. “It is rather disappointing.”
Doris Dacus of Flanders also opposes the convenience store. She said she is concerned about the potential litter that will come with it, such as discarded lottery tickets, napkins and Slurpee cups.
“I’m against it,” she said, explaining that an old phone booth that used to be on the corner of Glider Avenue and Flanders Road was always strewn with litter.
Calls placed to 7-Eleven’s corporate office were not returned.