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Big Red acquires United Package Liquors

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Bloomington-based Big Red Liquors is expanding into Indianapolis by acquiring the assets of United Package Liquors Inc. and taking over operations of the chain’s 24 local stores.

Terms of the transaction, announced Monday afternoon, were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, the United Package stores will operate under the banner of Big Red. Big Red will sign long-term leases for all locations with Indianapolis-based LOR Corp, a local real estate development firm that owns the United Package chain.

Big Red, founded in 1972, already owns and operates 25 stores in south-central Indiana, including 13 in Bloomington, and plans to open three additional locations this year in the Indianapolis area, the company said.

“We are excited to bring the Big Red brand to Indianapolis and are eager to add more stores in 2013, bringing new jobs and more convenience to the people of Indianapolis,” Big Red owner Mark McAlister said in a prepared statement.

LOR and United Package were founded by Leon Riggs in the 1960s and are currently led by Riggs’ grandson, Adam Hill.  

For LOR, the acquisition allows the company to focus its efforts on expanding its real estate portfolio, Hill said in a prepared statement.

“Over the last decade, my grandfather’s focus was investing in commercial real estate,” he said. “While he still operated a successful liquor store company, its main purpose was to act as an anchor tenant in the shopping centers.”

Aside from the Big Red deal, Lor plans to develop a three-story building with first-floor retail and two floors of office space just north of Broad Ripple Avenue sandwiched between Winthrop Avenue and the Monon Trail.

An existing building on the triangular-shaped property previously housed a United Package store and would be demolished. LOR has owned the prime Broad Ripple site since 1988.

In December, LOR moved the liquor store to its Broad Ripple Station shopping strip to the immediate southeast. LOR filed plans with the city in January and wants to start construction on the 9,300-square-foot structure as soon as it can secure zoning approvals.

United Package Liquor of Kentucky Inc. will continue to own and operate its four locations in Bowling Green, Ky., doing business as Chuck’s Liquor Outlets. LOR will continue to manage the Kentucky properties.
 

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