Officials Blast 7-Eleven for Blocking Order to Remove Noisy Refrigeration Unit

Brad Hoylman

October 06, 2014

7-Eleven attempting to block City from enforcing environmental protection order in the East Village at 170 Avenue A

Hoylman: It’s like living in a wind tunnel. Neighbors can’t
get a good night’s sleep thanks to 7-Eleven” 

New York, NY — Today, a group of elected officials and community groups blasted 7-Eleven for being a bad neighbor and demanded they drop the October 7, 2014 appeal of a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) order to cease using a noisy ground-level refrigeration unit in the East Village. The refrigeration unit at 7-Eleven’s 170 Avenue A store has been tormenting neighbors for over a year and violates the City’s noise code.

Since the refrigeration unit was installed in September 2013, residents of adjoining 502 East 11th Street have been driven from their bedrooms by the unit’s constant grinding, clicking and vibrating. Residents have secured multiple DEP noise violations against 7-Eleven, which culminated in the agency issuing a cease and desist order for the unit last month. 7-Eleven has chosen to fight the order at the City’s Environmental Control Board rather than fixing or disabling the offending unit.

Senator Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan) said: “This is an outrage. It’s like living in a wind tunnel. Neighbors can’t get a good night’s sleep thanks to 7-Eleven and its noisy refrigeration unit at 170 Avenue A.  I demand 7-Eleven to fix or disable the refrigeration unit and drop their appeal immediately.”

Hoylman continued: “This case is a perfect example of how the incursion of franchises like 7-Eleven have hurt the quality of life in the East Village. It’s sad they can’t be trusted to be good neighbors.”

Council Member Rosie Mendez said: “Since NYC is a city that never sleeps, 7-Eleven believes that translates into the fact that it can disrupt its neighbors quality of life of 24/7. If 7-Eleven wants to operate a 24 hour business in NYC and in our community, then act like good neighbors by dropping the appeal and fixing the HVAC unit that is located only 2-3 feet from the rear windows.”

Maria Rosenblum, a resident of 502 East 11th Street, said: “Having this refrigeration unit next to my apartment windows has been a living a nightmare. The constant noise and vibrations prevents our daughter from doing her homework and prevents me from doing my own work; I'm a freelance film editor and I work from home. At night we all have trouble sleeping and have had to all camp out on the floor of our living room, my husband, daughter and I. We have all been uprooted and our bedrooms are useless. 7-Eleven is destroying my home, my neighbors’ homes and our neighborhood.”

Gigi Li, Chair of Community Board 3, said: “Community Board 3 thanks Senator Hoylman for working with residents and the Community Board for almost a year to try to remedy this illegal installation that has been a nightmare for the neighbors. 7-Eleven has shown blatant disregard for their negative impact on neighbors by appealing the cease and desist order. They have moved into our community without concern of being a good neighbor and contributing to our community.”

Sara Romanoski, Managing Director of the East Village Community Coalition said: “The 7-Eleven on Avenue A has surpassed what many East Villagers feared about the opening of an aggressive franchise in a neighborhood characterized by unique, independent businesses. The company shows no consideration for its neighbors' right to protect their homes nor for the character of the neighborhood. Their irresponsible appeal will prolong the external costs of the business that residents have incurred for more than a year. 7-Eleven directs its corporate resources to challenging the City's enforcement of noise regulations that protect adjacent housing units. This companys actions demonstrate why the fight to promote independent businesses over powerful and unresponsive corporate chains is crucial for preserving the people and spirit of the neighborhood.”