The long-vacant Kmart property at 2715 Madison Ave. on the south side of Indianapolis is getting new life as a self-storage facility, with the prospect of more redevelopment to come at the 13.7-acre site.
Las Vegas-based Store Space Self Storage is purchasing the former discount store and transforming the property into a Store Space facility that will offer about 112,000 square feet of storage space.
The storage company is also working on a second facility here, in a 1950s-era warehouse/office building at 1426 W. 29th Street between East Riverside Drive and North Harding Street.
“Essentially, the plan is taking these blighted properties that have been vacant for a long time and trying to repurpose them,” said Rob Consalvo, president and chief operating officer of Store Space. Consalvo said his company's investment of about $19 million in the first two facilities could grow as it scouts locations for up to eight more.
“We are actively looking for additional sites in Indianapolis,” either by acquiring existing self-storage sites or by redeveloping blighted commercial properties, Consalvo said.
Kmart built the Madison Avenue store in 1971 and closed it in 2014. The property, which includes a defunct gas station, has been vacant since then. Carlsbad, California-based Global Building LLC bought the site from Kmart last year and will sell the former store to Store Space.
Consalvo said his company has already started retrofitting the space even though it hasn't closed on the purchase. He expects the sale to be final by the end of the month. The facility, which will offer climate-controlled units ranging in size from 5-feet-by-5-feet to 14-feet-by-25-feet, will open for business immediately.
Store Space is not buying the entire property. Global Building plans to subdivide the former Kmart site, carving out two parcels along Madison Avenue that it will sell as retail outlots.
The 29th Street building formerly served as an Indy Parks facility. After that, a group of investors purchased it before selling it to Store Space late last year. When Store Space purchased the site, it was mostly vacant with the exception of a tenant who was leasing a portion of the building for storage, Consalvo said. The 29th Street site should be open for business by Sept. 1.
Store Space was founded in 2017 by Consalvo and business partners Stephen Sandecki and Chris Harris, all of whom have experience in the self-storage industry.
The company, which so far operates only in Indiana, Florida and Texas, is in rapid growth mode. Since April, the company has bought and is rehabbing nine locations, with plans to close on the purchases of another six properties over the next 60 to 90 days, Consalvo said.
In other news:
— A new Indian restaurant, Tandoori Flame, opened last month at 4302 S. East St., near the AMC 17 movie theater just north of I-465. Owners of the family-run establishment are Paramjit Singh Atwal and his son-in-law, Pavitar Singh Khakh. The restaurant specializes in North Indian cuisine, with menu items ranging from vegetarian entrees to chicken, lamb, goat and beef. Tandoori Flame occupies a space that originally housed Steak and Ale. That restaurant closed in 2008. The space then housed Polo Club, followed by Ludwig’s Bavarian Haus.
— Abuelo’s has closed its north-side Indianapolis restaurant at 5910 W. 86th St. “With regret, our Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant in Traders Point-Indianapolis has closed,” the company said in a prepared statement. “We decided not to renew our lease, as the Traders Point restaurant was underperforming. We are thankful to our guests for their loyal patronage over the years.” The site closed Aug. 5. The Abuelo’s Carmel location, at 14480 Lowes Way, remains open.
— Patrons at Bad Axe Throwing, an axe-throwing club that opened in June 2017 at 235 S. Meridian St., will soon be able to buy adult beverages during their visit. The facility is pursuing an alcohol permit that will allow it to sell beer and wine. Until now, customers were invited to BYOB but could not purchase alcohol on site. Mario Zelaya, president and CEO of the Ontario-based company, said the Indianapolis location hopes to secure its permit within the next four to six weeks, with alcohol sales to begin this fall.
Zelaya said business is booming at the Indianapolis facility, which has roughly tripled in size over the past year. Initially, the axe-throwing studio occupied a 1,500-square-foot portion of the second floor. Several months ago the operation decided to take over the entire floor, roughly tripling its size. “The brand was so strong that we spoke with the landlord and took up much more of the space there,” Zelaya said.