Though there is now just a vacant, dilapidated building and gravel lot at 150 Merrick Road, at the northwest corner of Merrick Road and Babylon Turnpike, by December there will be a new, aesthetically pleasing convenience store at the site.
That is according to 7-Eleven Inc. and Adam Mann, a Great Neck real estate developer whose company owns the land.
But some in Merrick see it differently. Several — including leaders of the Merrick School District, the Chamber of Commerce, and the South Merrick Community Civic Association — have said in recent weeks that a 7-Eleven store at 150 Merrick Road, opposite Levy-Lakeside Elementary School, would be a detriment to the community. At recent school board and SMCCA meetings, in local publications and social media, Merokeans have suggested that the store could hurt local business, cause traffic problems, motivate young children to cross a dangerous intersection, become a late-night hangout for adolescents, encourage underage drinking and smoking and invite crime to the area.
A public meeting about the future plans for the site, which representatives of community stakeholders, Mann, 7-Eleven representatives and Town of Hempstead officials were scheduled to attend, was set to take place Tuesday evening, after press time. SMCCA was to host the meeting, as it has two others on the subject since late April, at the Merrick Road Park golf course clubhouse. Neither Mann nor representatives of 7-Eleven attended the previous meetings.
7-Eleven’s franchising website states that a store will open in December at 150 Merrick Road. Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, confirmed the same, as did William Bonesso, an attorney for Mann.
Several attempts to reach Mann by phone were unsuccessful. In a statement to the Herald Life, he wrote that he would attend Tuesday’s meeting to “present renderings of the beautiful building and site plan with extensive landscaping that we’ve developed.”
“I have no doubt that the building will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood,” Mann added.
He faced a difficult task in convincing some.