No tornado needed: 7-Eleven plans to tear down, replace store on South 21st
What the tornado failed to accomplish, heavy mechanized equipment will carry out sometime soon: the destruction of the 46-year-old building.
Once the rubble is cleared, according to the convenience-store development plan approved by the city this spring, the old facility will be replaced with a new one on the just-under 1-acre site.
A time frame for the demolition/rebuild is not yet known. For that purpose, the company has submitted a project plan to the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD). It is still under review, a spokesperson for the agency said June 1.
According to website information, PPRBD found multiple problems with the initial project plan submittal - including a need for hazardous material storage and underground tank dispensing permits - disapproving the plan May 24 and noting that a resubmittal would be necessary.
A noticeable difference is that the new building will be less than half as big - 3,062 square feet compared with 7,180. The old structure had offices on either side of the store, with space initially designated for 7-Eleven's regional administrators. However, that use was discontinued in recent years, and the space was leased out to other entities.
The new building will be a store only, the development plan shows, and its square-footage will be similar to that of other modern 7-Elevens. Older stores were smaller. The two on West Colorado Avenue (in the 1400 and 3000 blocks), built in the early 1980s, are each 2,400 square feet. The store at Uintah and 19th, which is not owned by 7-Eleven Inc., was built in 1984 at 2,560 square feet, the El Paso County Assessor's website states.
Another difference in the new 7-Eleven will be the alignment of the gas pumps. The old pumps, which have already been removed, although their frames remain - were at an angle to the building (northeast to southwest). The new pumps will have perpendicular pump access, according to the site plan, and be located more directly in front of the store.
No comment on the project was available from 7-Eleven, despite repeated outreach attempts by the Westside Pioneer to various listed contact numbers and e-mail addresses, going back to when the development plan was submitted to City Planning in February.
What's known is that the 21st Street site changed hands last October, being purchased for $1.26 million by 7-Eleven Inc. The Assessor's website lists a post office box for 7-Eleven Inc. in Dallas, Texas.
The property and business were previously owned by AHAG LLC, a local corporation, which still owns a potentially valuable 1.77 acres of vacant land just up the street at 1035 S. 21st. The location is at the northeast corner of Broadway and 21st; the Gold Hill Mesa long-range plans designate Broadway as the main access to the development's future (but as yet undefined) commercial area.
Westside Pioneer article