NewsFront RangeDenver


7-Eleven sues building owner for additional security costs amid vagrancy issues

7-Eleven's corporate office sued the owner of 1755 Blake Street, claiming the owner, Unico, broke the lease when it charged 7-Eleven for security, which they claim is a landlord obligation.
Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-21 00:14:40-04

DENVER — A battle over homelessness is heating up between a tenant and landlord in Denver’s Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood.

In September 2021, Seattle-based Unico bought the five-story building on the corner of 18th and Blake streets. 7-Eleven had been a tenant of that building for more than a decade. Shortly after the purchase, according to 7-Eleven, Unico claimed the convenience store on the ground floor was attracting vagrants, making other workers in the building feel unsafe.

This week, 7-Eleven’s corporate office filed a lawsuit against Unico, claiming the building owner broke the lease agreement when it charged the store thousands of dollars for security over these so-called vagrancy issues.

Steve Gregory stops by the convenience store every day.

“It’s not one business's problem… it’s a problem of our society,” said Gregory.

Denver7 obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed by 7-Eleven, which claims there is only so much the convenience store can do when it comes to people on public sidewalks.

According to the lawsuit, in November 2022, Unico issued a demand for payment of more than $20,000 for additional security. 7-Eleven paid that money under protest. Unico then sent a demand letter to 7-Eleven on March 6 for an additional $54,000, which has not been paid.

7-Eleven said it has taken numerous steps in good faith, including hiring a roving surveillance service and offering to install more cameras, which the store claims the building's owner rejected.

The convenience store claims its proximity to Union Station and 16th Street Mall — two areas struggling with homelessness — is the root cause of the problem, not the store itself.

"7-Eleven is not doing anything to attract them and it is merely operating a legal business," the lawsuit reads.

Attorneys for 7-Eleven declined the chance to comment on the lawsuit. Denver7 reached out to representatives for Unico but did not hear back.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.