After only three days in place, a temporary barrier placed in the parking lot serving the 7-Eleven and Mike’s Deli on N. West Street was removed early Monday evening. A loud and angry protest by citizens, including a large turnout at Monday night’s City Council meeting (even after the barrier had been removed) spurred Spectrum Development to reverse its move quickly. The barrier had made it enormously inconvenient for customers of both the 7-Eleven and Mike’s Deli to negotiate the parking lot, and almost impossible for supply trucks serving convenience store.
A statement from City Hall announcing the policy reversal was issued just before the City Council meeting Monday night. In the meeting, City Manager Wyatt Shields reported to the Council that he’d been notified of Spectrum’s plans last week and that he’d urged them not to do it. However, since the move did not require any City approvals, Spectrum went ahead and did it beginning last Friday.
No explanation was given for the move, although there is speculation that Spectrum has been frustrated in its effort to convince the parent company of 7-Eleven to relinquish its lease rights there in order for Spectrum’s plans to move ahead with the major mixed use project on 4.3 acres of assembled parcels, known as Mason Row and more recently as Founder’s Row, at the location. Spectrum has also been frustrated by its inability to secure a promised hotel at the site, and has applied to City Hall for a modification in its earlier-approved plan to allow for age-restricted residential housing instead of a hotel.