Retail project in search of tenants after Ace deal falls apart

LAS VEGAS—A not-for-profit group that's hoping to build a retail project at the northeast corner of 22nd and Delaware streets in Indianapolis is looking for tenants after a deal for an Ace Hardware fell apart.

King Park Area Development Corp. Executive Director Janine Betsey met with several potential occupants at the International Council of Shopping Centers show in Las Vegas on Monday. The group also hired a broker, Bridget Farren of Farren Real Estate Services, to help lease the two-story, $2-million project.

Betsey said the site meets the criteria of several retailers, including restaurant concepts and clothing stores. She declined to name which ones have expressed interest.

The group hopes to break ground on the project, designed by locally based A2SO4, in the fall. The project would be built to the sidewalks and include parking in the rear. A selling point for the second-floor restaurant space is its outdoor terrace with skyline views.

Ace won't be going in at 22nd and Delaware, but the hardware cooperative has picked out a couple other options for a new store in the vicinity of the Old Northside, said Market Development Manager Bob Merritt.

Merritt said Ace is working with existing and potential partners to open about five new stores in the Indianapolis area, with a focus on downtown and the south side.

A former store owner closed five Ace locations in 2008, primarily on the south side, leaving a market ripe for replacements. Ace has opened a handful of stores on the north side, including in Noblesville, in the last few years.

The King Park group also is seeking tenants for development of a 1.8-acre site it owns a few blocks north on Delaware, between 25th Street and Fall Creek Parkway.

The group in February tore down a former juvenile detention center on the site that had been vacant at least 15 years. King Park bought the property from the Marion County Treasurer’s Office for about $75,000 in 2008, and is using grants to fund the demolition and search for a new use.

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