Just How Much of the East Village Do Chain Stores Own?

subwaysDaniel MaurerSubways at 108 and 226 First Ave, Avenue B, and Houston Street. Not shown: another on Second Ave and still another on Bowery.

With 7-Elevens opening left and right and the community board strategizing ways to keep small businesses in the East Village, chain stores have been on our minds this week – as well as on the minds of readers. “7-Eleven in a historic neighborhood like the East Village is not O.K.,” wrote JP. Another commenter, Local of East Village, disagreed: “I think 7-Eleven is an example of one thing that is good about the 1 percent. We see here, a major corporation, giving a regular Joe the plumber the chance to turn his own profit.” And Johnny C was also pro-chain: “The local hardware stores charge 50 percent to 100 percent more than Home Depot and Lowe’s and the Bean charges $6 or $7 for a pastry. You really believe that benefits local residents?”

Here’s a question: If you lined up every chain store and bank in the neighborhood, how many blocks would they span? We’re working on the answer right now, but before we reveal it: What’s your guess?