Yay, New York's getting more generic convenience stores like the rest of mini-mall America! Because the city has more retail vacancies and rents are down, the 7-Eleven chain is capitalizing on the changing market to aggressively expand in the metropolitan area, which had 431 stores at the end of 2008. Executives at the company, which was founded in Dallas in 1927 but is now a subsidiary of the Japan-based Seven & i Holdings Company, plan to open at least 44 more 7-Elevens around the area this year, more than twice the number that opened last year. And they promise 350 more to come in the next five to seven years! An article in the Times offers an interesting look at 7-Eleven’s business conversion program, in which the owner of an existing convenience store gets an average of $280,000 to convert his or her space into a 7-Eleven. Holy smokes, we'd open a 7-Eleven in our apartment for half that...but first we need to get rid of the Starbucks location that's still operating out of our kitchen.