The new 7-Eleven in Mattituck, which had been slated to open in mid-November, has hit a snag that could cause it to delay opening until spring.
7-Eleven officials told the Southold Town Planning Board at a work session Monday that work scheduled to be done by the New York State Department of Transportation at the intersection of Route 25 and Factory Avenue as a condition of 7-Eleven’s site plan approval has not been budgeted by the DOT until the spring.
The work includes making changes to the traffic signal at the intersection and the removal of a telephone pole that has Verizon phone lines and Cablevision lines on it at the northeast corner of the intersection. A cut-back in the curb at that corner included in 7-Eleven’s site plan cannot be built until that pole is removed, 7-Eleven’s attorney, Pat Moore, told the board, because if that work was done before the pole was removed, the pole would remain in the street. She said that, if her clients chose to do the part of the DOT’s work that they can do themselves, it would cost them $100,000 that they are not able to spend on the project.
Ms. Moore implored the board to consider allowing the project to pass its final site inspection if she submits a letter from the DOT explaining why their work cannot be done on time.
“Your department professes to be business-friendly. We have a practical problem. Give us a chance,” she said. “You guys are the only ones that can solve this.”
Members of the Planning Board initially declined to hear comment from Ms. Moore and 7-Eleven’s representatives, who traveled from New York City and Staten Island to attend the meeting, because their project was not scheduled for discussion on the agenda. But Ms. Moore said Planning Director Heather Lanza had assured her they would have a chance to speak if there was time at the end of the meeting.
Tony Cocheo, who owns the Southold 7-Eleven franchise and who will own the Mattituck 7-Eleven after construction is complete, said he has already hired eight employees and has been training them for two months in anticipation of opening next month. He said he will have to lay them off if the opening is delayed until spring.
“They’re all local people from Mattituck who are training in my store in Southold,” he said. “It’s part of the financial burden of not being in business when I planned to.”
Ms. Moore said that if the building doesn’t open on time, it could become the victim of vandalism and deterioration, not unlike the building that would have housed the Hudson City Savings Bank, farther east on Route 25 in Mattituck, which has sat vacant for more than a year.
Members of the Planning Board declined to comment or give feedback on the issues, stating that they would do so when 7-Eleven’s concerns are brought before them when they are on the agenda. The Planning Board is next scheduled to meet on Oct. 31.