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Carmel development impacting businesses

Posted at 7:31 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 20:56:42-04

CARMEL, Ind.-- With all of the new development in Carmel, some small business owners are being impacted. 

The Carmel City Council voted 4-3 Monday night to purchase the strip mall property for $15 million. They plan to sell it to a developer to turn the site into apartments, condos, shops and restaurants.

In the core of the city, businesses are being pushed out to make room for housing, shopping and restaurants. 

Andrew Fritz manages the Gleaning Garden inside the strip mall near 126th Street ands Rangeline Road. Produce grown there is donated to food pantries across the county.

"The community garden is a space for people to grow their own food and a space to contribute or give food to those who are food insecure," he said.

Fritz and others who rent on the property said they don't want to relocate.

"My hope ultimately is that it could stay," Fritz said.

Henry Mestetsky, the city's redevelopment director, said the strip mall is the last piece of what he sees as "underdeveloped land" in the central core of Carmel where they've been focused.

"Presidium is starting across from Kroger. People have been looking at that for a long time, I know that's going," he said. "There's going to be a condo component there that people are asking for. There's continuing development with Merchants' headquarters — Merchants Bank's headquarters — going up in the midtown area. And Hotel Carmichael will be starting just to the south of us in city center."

The goal with all of the recent development is to bring more corporate headquarters to Carmel, and this property will help with that, according to Mestetsky.

"We want to have an environment here where corporations can lure the best employees," he said. "Employees want walkability, bikeability. At the same time, they want to live in the environment where you can walk downstairs and walk to five different restaurants within five minutes."

Construction won't begin on the redevelopment for a few years.

City officials said they will work with business owners to look at possible places where they can move.