Tom Wood Automotive Group plans to move its Toyota dealership from Lafayette Road to Whitestown, company officials confirmed Thursday.
The company recently purchased a 10-acre parcel near the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and Whitestown Parkway for $3.6 million for the new dealership. The land is adjacent to a 15-acre parcel Tom Wood purchased for $1.8 million in 2013, an acquisition that at the time sparked speculation that the Toyota dealership would eventually be relocating.
Tom Wood officials didn’t comment at that time, but Chief Operating Officer Roger Keller told IBJ on Thursday that the Toyota dealership will be moving to the Whitestown interchange.
He said they are working with architects and designers now, and it was too early to have a timeline, size or cost of the project.
The existing Toyota dealership is at 4202 Lafayette Road near Lafayette Square Mall and West 38th Street, where it was built in 1978.
The new dealership would be to the south of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Marathon gas station, which are just to the south of Duke Realty Corp.’s massive Anson real estate development. Keller said they decided to move because it would be a better market for the car dealership.
“The Zionsville market is just exploding over there,” Keller said. “Where we’re at right now, that market has just deteriorated.”
Anson has seen plenty of retail growth in the past few years, and more is expected. Midland Atlantic Development Co. LLC recently filed plans to build four retail buildings on a 6.4-acre parcel near the northeast corner of Whitestown Parkway and Perry Worth Road.
That project could cost $13 million to $15 million and bring more restaurants and retail to the development.
Housing in the area is also growing significantly. From 2011 to 2016, the number of single-family housing permits filed in Whitestown increased by 73 percent, with 222 permits filed last year, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.
Tom Wood Toyota would be the first car dealership to open just to the west of Zionsville. A cluster of dealerships is in business south of the town along U.S. 421 near 96th Street and a Bentley dealership is open in downtown Zionsville.
Keller said company execs have been scouting the Whitestown and Zionsville area around Interstate 65 for the right opportunity, and this location is where they were able to purchase land.
Ross Reller, a broker with Resource Commercial Real Estate who represented the seller of the property, said a car dealership in that area would be a significant addition.
“The Whitestown interchange is obviously dynamic,” Reller said. “I think this sale confirms the ongoing appeal of that neighborhood.”