The “suburbanization” of Manhattan will continue -- the 7-Eleven convenience store franchise plans to operate an astounding 100 stores in the borough by the year 2015, according to a report in Crain’s New York Business.

7-Eleven, currently has ten locations Manhattan locations, and expects to reach 15 to 20 locations over the next two years, before hitting the century-mark in four years.

7-Eleven would join a long list of drug stores, coffee shops and banks that have swamped Manhattan in the past ten to fifteen years.

We do see a tremendous amount of opportunity in Manhattan, said 7-Eleven’s public relations director Margaret Chabris. I believe that we would like to have 100 stores in Manhattan but I can't confirm whether that’s going to happen over the next five years.

Chabris explained that the company sought to expand in Manhattan because a lot more desirable locations are available… because many businesses have had to retract because of the recession.

Crains noted that part of the company’s strategy involved converting existing small businesses into 7-11 franchise models. It is estimated to cost a quarter of a million dollars to remodel each locale.

7-Eleven is a subsidiary of the Japan-based Seven & i Holdings Co.