Thirty or so residents turned out yesterday to the East End Library for a public meeting on the future of the storefront at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue. The owner is considering allowing a new cornerstore to open at the location; the community is adamantly opposed to this.
The now-vacant store was the location of several fatal shootings in the early 1990s as the Fairmount Grocery Store and Kim’s Market. The violence spread into the blocks and alleys around the store on Fairmount Avenue and 22nd Street. It has only been very recently that violence in the area has dropped, though prostitution still lingers.
The neighbors at the meeting were 100% opposed to reopening a convenience store at this location, saying that “a convenience store just isn’t what we want” and that “we definitely have a surplus of convenience stores”. There is a market 1/2 block north of this location on 22nd Street and another four blocks down Fairmount Avenue. There are 10 active cornerstores within a 1/2 mile or so of the location, and two more that have recently closed (see map below.)
Complaints against a potential cornerstore include the traffic and noise from delivery trucks, trash (which attracts people, dogs, rodent, snakes), foot traffic, drug traffic, loitering, and panhandlers that will be attracted to the store. The general feeling is that a cornerstore at this location will give people an excuse to loiter and will attract illicit activities.
The neighbors would much prefer a business that does not provide an excuse for loitering, and has shorter hours and less foot-traffic. Suggested businesses with support from those present include: any type of retail; a beauty salon and/or barber shop; a coffee shop; a cleaners; apartments; an office; an ice-cream shop; or a donut shop.
Mr.Joyner, the owner of the building, already has potential tenants interested in opening a convenience store. A committee was formed from the residents present today to work towards convincing Mr.Joyner to hold off on this move, and to help identify other potential tenants for the building.