Developers need Greenwood's OK for disputed land

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Now that the Indiana Supreme Court has settled the lengthy Greenwood-Bargersville annexation battle, developer Mike Duke is ready to build on a 60-acre tract in the heart of the disputed territory.

The court's Jan. 31 decision in favor of Greenwood means Duke will have to go to the city for approvals for his proposed retail center at the southeast corner of Stones Crossing Road and State Road 135. It will be the Bargersville developer's first major retail project in Greenwood's city limits in many years. His recent projects, which include 240 acres at state roads 37 and 44, are in the town of Bargersville, south of the unincorporated Center Grove area.

"I tried to stay out of it as best I could," Duke said of the annexation fight. "I would hope there would be nothing held against me because I live in Bargersville."

Duke has already had informal talks with city planners, and his project is in keeping with Greenwood's master plan for the area, Planning Director Ed Ferguson said. "Most of the properties that front on State Road 135 will already be zoned commercial when that annexation is finalized."

Greenwood has relatively forgiving building standards. The city requires more landscaping than it did a decade ago, but the latest change in the past year and a half was to allow digital billboards and signs, Ferguson said.

Stones Crossing Road is the next unclaimed parallel on SR 135 as commercial development pushes south from Greenwood. Neighborhoods are already established on the west side of SR 135, and a Marsh Supermarket sits on the southwest corner, across from where Duke plans to build his retail center. The major intersection to the north, Smith Valley Road, is heavily developed with a Target, Home Depot, Menards and Meijer.

Duke said his center will likely be anchored by a grocery store, but he declined to talk about other interested tenants. There's potential for more upscale retailers at Stones Crossing Road, which is closer to wealthy neighborhoods to the south. The median household income in a three-mile radius is close to $73,000.

Drive another two miles south to Whiteland Road, where Duke's commercial division, Welbourne Cos., has a small strip center, and the median household income jumps to about $82,000, according to Welbourne Cos. spec sheets.

The Supreme Court decision coincided with an improving economy. "We're starting to see things loosen up just a little bit," Duke said.

The Greenwood-Bargersville fight began when the town, which had already extended sewer service to the area, tried to annex land that was within three miles of the city's limits, a move that requires permission from the landowners. Bargersville argued that it already had proper authority to annex because homeowners and developers in the area had signed waivers along with their sewer-service agreements years earlier. Greenwood argued that didn't meet the standard of permission.

Bargersville initially won the court battle, but the decision was overturned on appeal.

Both sides had hoped the court decision would provide a definitive answer about what qualifies as landowner permission. With one of the five judges recusing himself, the decision was a tie and went to Greenwood by default.


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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...