This doubtless has been causing you untold hours of anxiety, but we're here to reassure you: The 7-Eleven
on Tejon Street
is not closing. Furthermore, we have no idea how the rumor started, and neither does owner Russ Mallery
"You are, like, the 10th person [to ask] — no, it's not closing," Mallery says in a conversation with the Indy
. "I'm like, 'Where the hell is this coming from?' I even called 7-Eleven and I was like, 'Is there something going on that I don't know?'
"Yeah, I have no idea. I've had the mayor call me, I've had the Gazette
call me, I had the chief of police call me, I've had a sergeant call me. I'm like, 'No, as far as I know.' I've got a 10-year lease with another option for 10 years after that."
All of the concern probably has something to do with the convenience store's place near the center of the downtown homeless discussion, it being prime real estate to congregate in front of. The Colorado Springs Police Department
is even attempting to open a station
directly across from the store in the building owned by Braxton Technologies, where the Gazette
is also moving in December.
"What really sucks about the situation is it infringes on freedom of speech, and other things," Mallery says. "But the homeless population just thinks that I'm made of money, and they think that they're entitled [to take things like creamers and napkins] because it's a 7-Eleven." He adds that such items here run him $4,000 a month, as opposed to around $1,000 at his other stores.
Because of similar reactions from downtown business owners, CSPD has several times
increased the police presence — not to mention installed controversial cameras for monitoring — and asked other officers working in the Gold Hill division to make time to drive through the area as well. Still, Mallery says there's work to be done.
"As far as the police, it got a little better, but now it's going back to what it was," he says. "I mean, we've got problems downtown, and I know the mayor and the chief of police are trying to work on cleaning up the homeless population down there ... but as far as me closing, nope. And that's coming from the owner, and as far as I know my wife isn't closing it either."