New Street 7-Eleven closes doors

Mike Timms, owner of Timms Handyman LLC, looks out the front window at the 7-Eleven that recently closed on New Street in Dover. Mr. Timms was there to winterize the now empty store. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — After more than 40 years of service, the 7-Eleven on New Street closed its doors this month.

The store, an end-cap to the Courtney Square Shopping Center, closed earlier in December, but its lease extends until the end of February, said Phil McGinnis, property manager for the site.

Mr. McGinnis said that the tenant had reached out between seven and nine months ago about renewing the lease for the convenience store which has been there since 1976. Mr. McGinnis said that he sent an extension of the existing terms, but later, he heard from the tenant that the storefront would be closing and received a letter from corporate 7-Eleven.

“I’m surprised they took that course of action,” he said.

The storefront papered its windows and formally closed mid-December.

The property originally served as a grocery store, liquor store and bookstore, Mr. McGinnis said, and has been added on once or twice. Mr. McGinnis’s father owned the grocery store, before 7-Eleven purchased it in the 1970s.

The 2,400-square-foot property is zoned retail and commercial, with neighbors including Great Wall Kitchen, Poliseno’s Pizzeria and Ben Bow’s liquor store.

Mr. McGinnis said that he has had a couple of phone calls with interested tenants, including a non-franchised convenience store.

“We’re not sure what we’re going to do just yet, between the abruptness of the notice and the holidays. We’re still sort of anticipating what to do, trying to calculate and figure out what’s best,” he said.

“I would think a convenience store is a natural tenant,” he noted, adding that since the 1960s, it has been a place where the neighborhood can pick up their milk, bread and other items.

The closure of 7-Eleven makes this the second vacancy in the shopping center. On the other end of the strip mall, the former-Cash Plus location, a 2,000-square-foot storefront, is also seeking a tenant. That property, Mr. McGinnis said, has had a lot of interest but he is hoping to see it filled with non-restaurant use.

The Courtney Square Shopping Center is also getting cosmetic upgrades, with a new roof. Mr. McGinnis said that there are also plans to repave the parking lot in the near future.

7-Eleven could not be reached for comment by press time Thursday.