The Sag Harbor 7-Eleven will close at the end of April.
One of the store’s managers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because employees are not allowed by company policy to speak to the press, said staff had been informed of the news on Friday, April 16. Southland Corporation, 7-Eleven’s parent company, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
However, Adam Potter, the chairman of Friends of Bay Street, the nonprofit organization that purchased the Water Street Shops complex last year as a future home for Bay Street Theater, said 7-Eleven, which has been operating on a month-to-month lease, had been informed in mid-February that it would have to move out by the end of April.
“We let everyone know we needed the space,” Mr. Potter said, adding that the other tenants in the building “are remaining for now” and would be asked to leave, as necessary.
Mr. Potter would not disclose what Friends of Bay Street planned to do with the space. Although the organization unveiled its initial plans two weeks ago for a theater complex on the site, a formal application has yet to be made to the village, and the property is included in a development moratorium along a portion of the village waterfront that will last at least until the end of summer.
Mr. Potter, whose relationship with village officials has grown increasingly tense in recent months, said if residents are upset about the loss of the popular convenience store they should address their ire to the Village Board, particularly Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy.
“The mayor was well aware of this in mid-February,” he said, adding that Friends of Bay Street had informed her of its efforts to find a new home for 7-Eleven at that time.
“We have the space,” he said. “We can open a convenience store in Dodds & Eder. All that is required is for that to be allowed.”
Last month, Mr. Potter announced that he had purchased the former Dodds & Eder building at 11 Bridge Street and wanted to devote a portion of it to a convenience store that would have limited hours and be required to close overnight.
He complained when the Village Board, which has been debating what uses to allow in the Office District, where the building is located, at first proposed allowing convenience stores in the zone and then changed its mind.
He said the Bridge Street location would be a better site for a convenience store than Main Street, where it would be currently allowed, and added the building could be ready to go within a month, if the Village Board signed off on it.
The village began discussing changes in zoning to the waterfront and office district and instituted a moratorium months before the Friends of Bay Street bought the 7-Eleven property and long before Mr. Potter purchased the Dodds and Eder building. Even without a moratorium in place, the planning and zoning boards would be the chief agencies to review any new development proposals, not the board of trustees or mayor.
Mayor Mulcahy dismissed Mr. Potter’s complaints. “It’s not the mayor’s fault,” she said. “The mayor did not change the zoning. The zoning has not yet been changed. It’s still a proposed code. Nothing has been put into law.”
And while she said she had been informed that 7-Eleven and other businesses at Water Street Shops had been informed they were on month-to-month leases back in February, she said Mr. Potter had never spoken about any hard deadlines.
She said the last time she spoke to Mr. Potter about 7-Eleven’s future in Sag Harbor was at a March 9 board meeting when Bay Street proposed erecting a tent in the Water Street Shops parking lot for summer shows. When board members asked how the businesses could remain open without parking available, Mr. Potter said the decision as to whether that would be allowed would be deferred to the Village Board.
“We have given them notice. All the tenants are on a month-to-month basis,” he said at that time. “We would prefer to not kick them out but let them remain for the summer season.”