A community group approved a 7-Eleven at the corner of an Encanto intersection Monday, but some think the move will attract crime to an area already nicknamed the "four corners of death."
The Encanto Neighborhood Community Planning group voted 9-2 Monday to allow Tony Dabish, owner of Greene Cat Liquors at the corner of Euclid and Imperial avenues to hand over the space to 7-Eleven, despite being presented with hundreds of signatures from community members expressing their opposition.
Community members are not opposed to the idea of a 7-Eleven in their neighborhood, but instead to the franchise owners' push for a 24-hour liquor license that they say will bring crime to the neighborhood.
A petition is going around the neighborhood to try and stop it.
Evan Toma is the store manager at the ARCO across the street from the liquor store.
“The problem is, this is a high crime area," Toma said. "7-Eleven, with a 24-hour permit, is going to attract transients from miles away, from panhandling, loitering.
"While you’re sleeping at night who knows what’s going on over there,” he added.
The principal of nearby St. Rita’s Catholic School agrees.
Olsen worries about the crime that will surround the store if it is open 24 hours and the safety of her 200 students go to the school. She says it won’t provide a good environment for families and especially children.
“I understand the need for corporate businesses I do understand that they want to bring more money into the community, Principal Gina Olsen said. "This doesn’t seem like a good fit for that corner or this neighborhood.”
Dabish disagrees with community members who feel crime will follow this store.
The city has "been after everybody in the neighborhood to do some painting, change the windows, do something about the parking lot, put some landscaping and I told them I can’t afford it right now,” Dabish said.
He says upgrades to the parking lot can help prevent crime.
“Trouble is there anyway and with 7-Eleven, they’ll have the parking lot light up like daytime you think more crime? I don’t think so,” Dabish said.
Dabish didn’t want to give the space to any company or business owner. After over three decades in the neighborhood, he wants to make sure the next person behind him upholds the corner.
Another meeting is planned as the 7-Eleven is in it's planning stages.