The future of Longboat Key’s oldest-running convenience store is uncertain.
Employees at the 7-Eleven, 4032 Gulf of Mexico Drive, received a statement earlier this month announcing the store’s possible closure in June, according to 7-Eleven Longboat Key Manager Tom Phillips.
If a new lease cannot be reached with Reid Savidge, the owner of the Longboat Key and Holmes Beach Ace Hardware stores, the store’s 15-year lease would expire June 30.
Savidge did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story.
But Phillips and 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris say the store’s closing is not official.
“It’s a lease issue only and the closing is not set in stone,” said Phillips, who estimates his store services 500 customers daily. “It has nothing to do with our business, which is doing fine.”
Still, Phillips said he and his staff are preparing for the store’s closure — just in case.
Chabris, however, said the 7-Eleven has just begun negotiations with Savidge’s attorney for a new 15-year lease.
“We really want to stay there and continue serving our great customers,” Chabris said. “We finally heard from the landlord through his attorney and we have to negotiate a new rent rate.”
If 7-Eleven cannot negotiate a new lease by the end of June, Chabris said the Dallas-based, convenience-store company would be open to looking for another location on Longboat Key.
“We would love to find another location on Longboat if we can find an attractive rent rate,” said Chabris, who said the economy has impacted sales at the store even though it’s still considered a profitable location.
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