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.