International market planned for former Marsh store at 86th and Ditch

Keywords Grocery Stores / Marsh / Retail
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The former Marsh Supermarkets store at 1435 W. 86th St. (Photo courtesy of Google)

The owners of a 6,000-square-foot international grocery store on Indianapolis’ west side plan to open a much larger market on the north side in the shell of a former Marsh supermarket at West 86th Street and Ditch Road.

American International Market, or AIM Mart, will occupy 38,000 square feet of the former Marsh store that closed five years ago at 1435 W. 86th St.

Ammar Qaatabi, one of AIM Mart’s five co-owners, said the business will be a one-stop destination for customers seeking food and products from multiple countries.

“AIM Mart will be everything, basically, that you need,” said Qaatabi, a native of Yemen who was 19 when he moved to the United States. “It will be like a small mall.”

In addition to supermarket goods originating from Asia, Europe, Africa, Central America and South America, Qaatabi said the store will feature a butcher with extensive kosher selections, a bakery highlighted by Middle Eastern sweets, a fish market, a Mediterranean restaurant, a pharmacy and a tax-preparation service.

Qaatabi and his business partners have operated Mecca Market, 1205 S. High School Road, since 2015. He said the AIM Mart name for the new store avoids connotations that the business is stocked exclusively with Arabic items.

Expected to open by May, AIM Mart hopes to attract customers who live in Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Westfield and Zionsville, Qaatabi said.

“All of those cities have a variety of cultures,” he said.

Marsh, which once operated more than 80 stores, filed for bankruptcy in May 2017. Kroger purchased the lease for the West 86th Street store at auction in July 2017, but the Northbrook Shopping Center site did not reopen as a Kroger property.

In the deal that will place AIM Mart in the building, the landlord, 86th & Ditch Road Realty Company LP, was represented by Keith Fried of McCrea Property Group. The tenant was represented by Brian Epstein of Urban Space.

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14 thoughts on “International market planned for former Marsh store at 86th and Ditch

  1. This is a great future use for the store. I am so glad to see a culturally diversified food selection coming to the north side. If they do it right it should be a home run.

  2. This would be a great solution for the empty Marsh building at 38th Street and I465 on the west side. Several apartment complexes within walking distance with Target as the nearest grocery currently.

  3. I for one think this concept will eventually fail at this location. A Needler’s would do much better there as an alternative to the Krogers and Fresh Thyme markets nearby. I’m glad at least that this empty space isn’t turning into another dollar store or a seasonal fireworks store…

    1. This is a pretty diverse area, economically and socially – and Needlers, although nice, is expensive. Why do you think it will fail? Fingers crossed it doesn’t.

    2. I agree that this business will likely fail., I don’t think the immediate area is as diverse as people believe it to be. Second, Phone Cho is pretty well established among the Asian community in the area – causing issues with a significant demographic right off the bat. Same with Tienda Morelos not that far away with the Hispanic community. The proximity to Costco and a super Walmart doesn’t help either. Sure Saraga West is down the street from a Supercenter, but consider the context as well. The building will need to be demolished in order for the site to be redeveloped long term.

    1. Not just the immediate neighbors, I’m south of 86th and Ditch and look forward to shopping at this market. Hopefully, others will support it as well.