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Investor places first bet on Zionsville's Main Street

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A building on Main Street in Zionsville that local lore says has housed a tavern or restaurant continuously since the 1880s has a new owner who promises to keep the streak alive.

Eric Bretzman, an engineer for Chip Ganassi Racing, closed March 1 on the purchase of 40 S. Main and negotiated a new long-term lease with il Villagio, an Italian restaurant that has operated in the 4,000-square-foot building for 10 years.

Emilio Cento, the owner of the restaurant, wasn't available for comment, but Bretzman and the broker who sold the building, Ross Reller of Colliers International, said Cento had been on a month-to-month lease because the building wasn't being maintained.

Cento's success with the restaurant in the face of deferred maintenance that sometimes had him paying for repairs out of his own pocket played a role in the decision by Bretzman and his wife to buy the building, which is their first commercial property.

"He's survived the 'infant mortality rate' of restaurants," Bretzman said of Cento, who he's betting will be a solid tenant.
 
Il Villagio is closed—but not for long—while the building gets a new roof and new mechanical systems. Cento said he wanted to be able to serve Easter brunch, and Bretzman has promised the building will be able to accommodate diners again by March 26.

The building housed Adam's Rib & Seafood house immediately before Cento took over the space.

Reller listed the building for its out-of-town owner in the fourth quarter of last year for $385,000. He said the listing price was firm, with no allowance for the building's deteriorated condition. He's not surprised it sold, primarily because of the location.

"To be on the bricks and have a little piece of the village" is a big deal in Zionsville, Reller said, referring to the cobblestone street that runs through the heart of the town's business district.

Bretzman sees a big potential upside for rents, which he said are running at the low end of a range between $15 and $24 a square foot. He thinks an improving economy will give a lift to what is already a desirable location.

Tammy Kelly, who manages the commercial division for ReMAX Ability Plus, agrees with Bretzman's assessment.

She just leased 1,700 square feet to Inga's Gourmet Popcorn, which will open this summer at 140 S. Main.

Kelly has two other listings in the neighborhood:

—The 14,000-square-foot Carter Building, at 91 S. Main, which is listed for $2 million. Built in 2006 by the late Robert Carter to house his toy museum, the building has off-street parking, custom oak finishings, high ceilings and a one-bedroom apartment. Kelly said it would make a great live-work space.

—A former flower shop at 305 S. Main. The 2,023-square-foot building is listed for $375,000. It's for sale or lease.

 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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