A developer has purchased a Carmel retail center, giving residents hope a grocery store once again will operate on the city’s east side.
Indianapolis-based KennMar has purchased the Brookshire Village Shoppes retail center at 126th Street and Gray Road and has already begun sprucing up the property and working to fill the anchor space, which has been empty since Marsh closed the O’Malia Food Market there in summer 2017.
The sale was finalized Sept. 12. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Brent Benge, president and CEO of KennMar, told IBJ his team is in discussion with a couple of grocers about opening a store in the O’Malia space.
“This area needs a grocery store,” he said. “We’re going to work our tails off to try to get one in there.”
The O’Malia Food Market was the lone grocery store serving Carmel’s east side when it closed. City leaders for months have been working to find a grocer to fill the vacancy but had been unsuccessful. Previously, at least two other deals with unnamed developers fell through.
A Change.org petition launched more than a year ago saw more than 1,400 people sign it, asking for a grocery store to fill the open space.
The O’Malia family first opened the food market in the L-shaped shopping center, which spans 7 acres and 67,000 square feet, in 1982. The family sold the store to Marsh in 2001 but kept ownership of the retail center until it listed it for sale more than a year ago. The retail center is home to a CVS store, Rad’s cafe and a Gymboree Play & Music.
In an email sent Friday to residents he represents, City Councilor Jeff Worrell, who represents the southeast district, announced the sale.
“(KennMar) already (has) a solid strategy in place that includes opportunities for a grocer, and now that they control the property (they) can move forward with their plans,” he wrote. “I view this first step as extremely positive news for the SE District, and I look forward to bringing you additional good reports.”
Benge told IBJ the O’Malia space and a standalone building that once housed a PNC bank branch are the only two spaces currently vacant. The other storefronts either have a tenant or a tenant is lined up, he said.