By Merry MacKinnon
The Bee, Nov 3, 2010
Ever since Arby’s Restaurant at S.E. 52nd Avenue between Woodstock Boulevard and Martins Street closed two years ago, cracked asphalt has accumulated in piles around the empty building, and the parking lot has become a dumping ground for stained mattresses, derelict couches, and other detritus.
Homeless men hang out there and, were it not for a border of mature sweetgum trees blocking some of the unsightliness, the corner could be a textbook example of urban blight.
Which is why some may be surprised that when word spread that a 7-Eleven convenience store could locate there, a group of Woodstock residents, including many homeowners on S.E. Martins Street, quickly organized to oppose it.
“If enough concerned citizens stand up and say, 'No!', I think we can stop this,” says Yvette Clark, who owns a house on S.E. 51st and Martins. “Better to be empty than be a 7-Eleven.”
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