A Fishers-based media-preservation company plans to spend roughly $1 million to turn part of the former Marsh grocery store at 8766 E. 96th St. into its new headquarters.
Memory Ventures plans to redevelop at least 35,000 square feet of the 80,000-square-foot building, which has been vacant since 2017. On Monday night, the Fishers City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement worth an estimated $600,000 to incentivize the project.
The council’s vote comes a year after the city of Fishers announced that Indianapolis-based Strongbox Development would spend $7 million to partially demolish the store and prepare the remaining building for a new tenant, as well as construct a separate retail building on the site. Strongbox has since backed off that plan.
Last January, to accomodate Strongbox’s plans, the Fishers City Council rezoned the property at 8766 E. 96th St. to allow for non-supermarket related uses there. Utah-based VASA Fitness announced shortly after that it was considering opening its latest Indianapolis gym in part of the 80,000-square-foot building. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“Obviously, COVID has put that sort of real estate expansion for any kind of gym on ice,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness told IBJ.
Fadness said Strongbox is now planning to sell the Marsh building to California-based ScanDigital Inc. and ScanCafe Indiana Holdings LLC—collectively known as Memory Ventures.
Memory Ventures is a company with five direct-to-consumer brands offering media digitization and photo-based home decor. CEO Anderson Schoenrock moved the company from California to Fishers in July 2015, and the company has since outgrown several offices. Currently, the company is located 7998 Centerpoint Dr., but Fadness said Schoenrock is ready to expand once again.
“Anderson has become a huge player and very involved in our community,” Fadness said.
Previously, Strongbox planned to tear down a quarter of the former grocery store at 96th Street and Lantern Road and build a 10,000-square-foot retail building. Though Strongbox is stepping away from the Marsh building’s redevelopment, Fadness said the company will still have a hand in some new construction on the property.
The Fishers City Council updated its agreement with the commercial developer on Monday to allow Strongbox to instead build a 16,000-square-foot retail outlot building on the site.
Despite the change, Fadness said Fishers will still waive Strongbox’s impact fees—worth about $150,000—as long as the company pays for four license plate readers, worth $60,000 in total, to be installed along 96th Street.