Aging east-side shopping center to be redeveloped

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An Indianapolis developer is planning to demolish an aging and nearly vacant shopping center on the east side to make way for a new retail project that would be anchored by a grocery store.

Douglas Realty Advisors received unanimous approval (6-0) from the Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday to rezone the 10-acre property at 5550 Fall Creek Parkway near East 56th Street.

The developer has the land under contract and is purchasing it from a buyer that Doug McAuley, principal of Douglas Realty, declined to disclose. Douglas Realty could complete the sale within the next 45 days and start construction by the end of the year, McAuley said. The total investment in the property will be about $15 million, he said.

“I’m not asking for a tax abatement; I’m not asking for a [tax-increment financing] district to be created,” he told MDC members when requesting the rezoning. “We want this development to stand on its own two feet.”

Built in the mid-1970s, the roughly 90,000-square-foot shopping center was once anchored by an O’Malia’s grocery store but has just one tenant remaining—a Dollar General store.

Douglas Realty’s plans for the site call for demolishing the entire center and constructing a 42,000-square-foot building that likely would be occupied by a grocery store. Plans also include a 14,000-square-foot building for small shops.

The developer requested a more restrictive commercial rezoning for the area’s benefit, McAuley said.

“We wanted to remove certain [retail] uses that we didn’t think would be appropriate for the neighborhood, since it’s near Cathedral High School,” he said.

Douglas Realty is proposing a similar project on the west side in the Highland-Kessler neighborhood.

That project also calls for a 42,000-square-foot anchor store and about 15,000 square feet of small shops. It also proposes two one-acre outlots potentially for a restaurant and bank, all at the southeast corner of Michigan Road and Kessler Boulevard. The total cost would range from $25 million to $30 million.

The developer is working with the city on a few permitting issues and could begin construction on the project yet this year, McAuley said.

Douglas Realty’s portfolio of work includes a Kroger-anchored center at 71st Street and Binford Boulevard and a Starbucks-anchored shopping center along 116th Street immediately west of Interstate 69 in Fishers.


  • Any more info on this?
    Any more information on this project?
  • No More Apartments!!
    No more Section 8 housing. Plenty of homes in the area.
  • You're right
    A Whole Foods would make more sense. There's a good amount of affluent residents in the area that would benefit from a grocer such as Whole Foods too.
  • About time
    We should give Doug a key to the city for what he has done in improvements. I'm walking distance from that NE corner and a grocery store (preferably Kroger or Marsh) is sorely needed. And to American Dirt, we definitely don't need any more housing in the area. A strip center and major grocery chain sounds perfect to me.
  • More geography
    And I guess I didn't read the whole article the first time, otherwise I would have also commented that Michigan Road & Kessler Blvd is not on the West Side. It's 6 miles north and about 2 miles west of the Circle. Are there only two sides to Indy these days?
  • Zoning
    To American Dirt, if I recall correctly the original commercial development was part of a planned unit development (D-P zoning district in Marion County). Thus, to do anything different would require rezoning to a new planned unit development zoning or to a more traditional zoning district.
  • once upon a time...
    this area had two grocery stores- O'Malia's and Mr D's. It's sad to see how Windridge has gone down, with the CVS going freestanding. I'm glad to see something being done over there. And I agree- that area might be eastern, but it's not "East Side".
  • Grocer
    40,000 sqft is way too big for a Fresh Market. I think that they are targeting Whole Foods Market.
    • Which store?
      Which grocery chain are they planning on putting there? There's already two Krogers nearby, as well as a Marsh on Shadeland. Fresh Market maybe??
      • Confused
        Yes, this is more north side than east side, but is really northeast. Local reporters seem to often have a hard time figuring these things out.
      • Smaller footprint?
        First of all, where's the change in use that would require a rezoning? Second of all, it appears the leasable area is going from a current level 90K to a proposed 56 or 57K. Isn't this a downzoning? So what does the developer plan to do with all that extra land? Since this parcel is in an area of very income levels, and is a stone's throw from the Fall Creek Trail, wouldn't it be a good site for something a little more innovative than a strip mall--perhaps something that includes a housing component as well? Or engages the streets in a way that facilitates accessing the stores by bicycle? Or would it be too hard to get that sort of rezoning?
        • What side?
          You're right there...I wouldn't say this was the east side either...North side for sure. But glad to get a grocery there as it is on my way home from work.
        • Go Doug!
          Congrats Doug! Keep up the great re-development work! :)
        • What side?
          56th & Fall Creek (Emerson) is 6 miles north and 4 miles east of the Circle. Why is this referred to as the East Side? I'd call it the Northeast Side myself, but if required to pin it down to one of the four basic directions, I'd go with North. Generally, I don't hear locals refer to anything north of I-70 (about four miles south of here) as the "East Side".

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