Today, the city announced both stores have agreed to comply with the city’s requests in hopes of clearing their nuisance label. Last month, the city gave the stores 10 days to agree to make these changes. The location at Central and Solano and San Mateo and Kathryn were hotbeds for crime.
However, some who live in the area are skeptical the changes will make a difference.
In an old Albuquerque neighborhood, some people fear returning home.
“I grew up in this neighborhood,” Stella Lefebre said. “My parents have been here for over 50 years. I know this area like the back of my hand like my brothers and sisters do, and it is actually scary to drive over here anymore.”
Lefebre blames the 7-Eleven nearby for the area’s decline with homeless people and crime overflowing into her family’s neighborhood.
“There is always ambulances and police there,” Lefebre said. “There are shootings in this neighborhood.”
The city announced in September that the 7-Eleven off Kathryn and San Mateo, as well as the one at Central and Solano, were nuisance properties. The city said they make surrounding neighborhoods like Lefebre’s less safe. The locations had around 1000 calls for service combined in just a one-year span.
“It’s because of the homeless and because the 7-Eleven is selling liquor over there,” Lefebre said.
Today, the city announced that both stores have agreed to changes to turn things around like banning the sale of mini liquor bottles and pints, cleaning up trash and adding cameras.
“They are also going to go through some additional training to not serve inebriated folks at those locations,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “They’ve also agreed to clean up their area from needles and trash on a daily basis.”
Some said they hope these will keep the 7-Elevens in business.
“Ever since I was in elementary school, it has been there,” Javiannah McBride, who lives in the area, said. “It is a part of when I grew up so I think people would rather see it fixed.”
On the other hand, Lefebre said she believes the changes are too little, too late.
“I do not think there is anything they could do other than closing it to stop the problem here in this area,” Lefebre said.
City Councilor Pat Davis said owners of the stores were initially reluctant to agree but eventually gave in.
“We’re willing to do what’s right,” Councilor Davis said. We want to be good neighbors. We’re willing to do something every day that works in partner hood with our neighborhood.”
Councilor Davis said these changes have been implemented for about a month, and they’re already seeing a drop in calls to law enforcement at these locations.
Mayor Keller said it’s still too early to tell if it’s going to make lasting changes. They said it is an experiment and will change if necessary. If their tweaks do not work and problems continue, the city will go to court to close them.
KRQE News 13 asked city officials if they will require security guards to be at these locations; they said it’s not part of the agreement just yet.