A lesson in 2008, Don’t F with Community

So last night I saw a very powerful example of not doing business like it’s 1980.

I remember as a kid, and even as a young adult, saying, “Wow, I had no idea a Wal-Mart/Starbucks/McDonalds/You name it, was going in there.”

Those days are no more. The internet has changed that, forever. Builders and land barons can no longer simply build something and slap a sign on it, and move on, not caring whether the community approved or not. It was easy, once built it’s hard for the community to stop something that’s already built.

Last night, hopefully taught Focus development that very lesson. They’ve signed a lease with 7-11 to put up a store at Broadway and Larimer, where the old auto repair shop building is. They did this without ever mentioning it to the Ballpark Neighborhood (where I live). Normally that’d be fine, I’m all for business, especially business coming to my neighborhood.

Unfortunately my neighborhood is a bit teetery. We’ve got 2 homeless shelters a block apart, and about 1.5 blocks from the proposed location of the 7-11. The concern isn’t just bringing the homeless further into our neighborhood; they’re already here, lots of them near my house. It’s the crime, the traffic, the impact on the residents of the lofts immediately next to the 7-11. It’s a lot of things, that Focus Development seems to have chosen to ignore.

The alleyway behind the lofts, apparently is frequented (nightly from the sounds of it) by homeless, drug dealers and takers, and apparently prostitutes. Currently a call to police allows the police to take the offenders, or at least drive them away. However with the 7-11 there, the offenders simply have to say they’re on their way inside or have just left, keeping the police from making that area safer.

So where did Focus go wrong? They never told the community, the community that is directly impacted by this 7-11. They seemed to have thought that they could simply set up this 7-11 regardless of the community’s opinions. Sure that’s how business would like it to be, but that’s simply not the case. Not these days. Business owners and residents alike all vowed to do whatever they could to stop the 7-11, and even more so, every future endeavor Focus Development undertakes in the Ballpark Neighborhood. That can’t be good. And How did this all go wrong for Focus? The Internet. Skabber twittered a blog link, that was an Email from someone else. I twittered the event, and blogged it. Word spread fast. In the ‘old days’ word didn’t spread, fast or if at all. Business should keep that in mind. I suspect there won’t be a 7-11 at Broadway and Larimer, just a hunch, but I’m guessing it’s not gonna happen.

Side note. the only two people “for” the 7-11, 1 that lives in Cherry Creek where the 7-11 there is completely nice and there’s no problems. DUH. And the President of our Association (will have to see how long that tenure is) who lives in Congress Park.

4 thoughts on “A lesson in 2008, Don’t F with Community

  1. skabber

    It was an interesting scene last night. It had the feel off "Hey we are already going to do this but as a conciliatory gesture, we will let you bitch at us for an hour."

    Also the 7-11 people, Focus Property and the Police didn't respond to any of the questions about how they were going to deal with crime. All I heard was that the pay phones would be on the inside. I don't think that is enough.

  2. jwilker Post author

    yeah and plus they first said they're 24/7, then it sounded like one store isn't, which was weird. It was definitely an odd vibe. I'm really hopeful that 7-11 is like, "Screw this, we're out", cuz Focus sure as hell didn't sound or even look remotely interested in anything anyone was saying, except maybe Cherry Creek gal.

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