Plans emerge for controversial Walmart site

Christian Brothers Automotive has filed plans with Carmel to build a 5,600-square-foot automotive center along Michigan Road on a site that was once proposed for a Walmart.

The 22-acre site, along Michigan Road between 106th Street and Bennett Parkway, was the subject of a long legal battle between Zionsville and Walmart Inc., which wanted to construct a 300,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by a Walmart Supercenter on the property.

After a 10-year battle with Zionsville, which Walmart ultimately won, the retailer decided in 2017 to sell the property. About 14.5 acres are in Zionsville and governed by its zoning restrictions. The other seven acres are in Carmel.

The automotive center would be built on 1.23 acres of the 7-acre parcel in Carmel. The approximate address for the site is 10900 N. Michigan Road.

The land is owned by Cityscape Residential through a limited liability corporation called Aria Land JV. Cityscape plans to build a 200-plus-unit apartment complex on the land in Zionsville.

For the land in Carmel, the Ohio-based engineering firm Woolpert, on behalf of Cityscape, has proposed dividing the seven acres into three new commercial lots, which will need to be approved by the Carmel Plan Commission. The repair shop would be built on the southern lot. Plans for the other two lots have not yet been submitted to Carmel.  

Site plans call for extending Weston Pointe Drive west across Michigan Road and building a new street that would run parallel to Michigan Road and connect to Weston Point Drive. The street, named Redd Road, would divide the apartment and commercial projects.

In Carmel, the site is zoned B-3, which allows for a wide variety of commercial and office uses, including an automobile service station. But a development plan must be approved by the Carmel Plan Commission first.

 Cityscape's and Christian Brothers' requests are both expected to be presented when the board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Texas-based Christian Brothers Automotive got its start in 1982 when founder Mark Carr opened a complete automotive repair facility in Mission Bend, Texas. In 1996, Christian Brothers became a registered franchisor and started offering its franchises throughout Texas.

Today, it operates more than 195 stores in 29 states.  The company has stores in Fishers and Westfield and is building a new store in Greenwood at 4985 W. Smith Valley Road.

“Ultimately, we’ll have seven or maybe eight locations in Indianapolis within the next two to three years,” said Josh Wall, chief development officer at the Houston-based auto service franchise, who previously told IBJ about the company's Indianapolis expansion plan.

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