Another grocery store is opening on the southside.

Kroger has announced plans to build its second store in the Center Grove area at a relatively undeveloped intersection on State Road 135. About 1 mile north, the final vacant corner at a busy intersection is getting primed for development.

Both are signs that growth is continuing to move south along State Road 135 in the Center Grove area, Greenwood Planning Director Bill Peeples said.

The Kroger, a gas station and other shops are planned for Smokey Row Road and State Road 135. About 20,000 vehicles per day pass through the intersection, which recently got a new stoplight, on their way to and from subdivisions such as Hickory Stick and the Reserve at Somerset.

Story continues below gallery

And at Stones Crossing Road, a landowner is also rezoning about 35 acres of farmland on the southeast corner for commercial uses. Nothing is currently planned for the large site, Peeples said, but changing the building classification now makes it easier to sell since a developer won’t have to wait 60 days to rezone the property. A new medical facility and nursing home have recently been built nearby, and the intersection will eventually become part of Greenwood’s east-west corridor connecting to Interstate 65 at Worthsville Road.

Almost all of the land north of Stones Crossing Road on State Road 135 has been developed as professional offices, stores and restaurants, so new development has to continue south, Peeples said. The southern end of the Center Grove area, closer to Bargersville, has been a recent hotspot for new homes, so new businesses will certainly follow to serve the growing population, Peeples said.

The announcement also continues an explosion of new grocery store locations on the southside. Kroger is already replacing its current store at the busy intersection of County Line Road and Emerson Avenue with a new, larger Marketplace store, which will sell groceries and home items.

Meijer, Walmart and Aldi have built, begun to build or announced they will build new stores in Johnson County.

The second Kroger on 135 hasn’t submitted building plans yet, so construction is still at least two to three months out at a minimum, Peeples said.

The store likely won’t open this year, Kroger spokesman John Elliott said.

Expect to continue to see new building south of Stones Crossing Road in the near future, Peeples said.

Developers had built a CVS and strip mall at Whiteland Road years back anticipating development to extend south along State Road 135. That development slowed because of the national recession, and now development is starting to extend in that direction again.

Development has been expected along southern State Road 135 for years. Bargersville and Greenwood both annexed large chunks of land in the 2000s to position for future growth. Between Stones Crossing and Whiteland Road, Bargersville controls the west side of the highway, while Greenwood has the east side. Anything south of Whiteland Road is in Bargersville’s town limits.

“There’s some land between Stones Crossing and south. North of that it’s pretty much all developed out, if you’re going to see commercial development you’re going to see redevelopment of older commercial property,” Peeples said. “But much of that you’ll be looking at is green development south,” Peeples said.

Kroger is coming because it’s already needed, Elliott said. Grocery stores typically aren’t built in anticipation of new homes or increased traffic in case plans change, he said. Rather, stores open when the population in an area justifies the construction.

“Retail food can’t really invest ahead of time in anticipation of rooftop growth. We really have to wait until there is critical mass,” Elliott said.

Kroger has been investing in new stores and renovations throughout the Indianapolis suburbs, and Johnson and Hamilton counties are two big markets, he said.

The plans for the 15-acre development at Smokey Row Road would include a new Kroger, gas station and additional shops attached to the grocery store anchor, Peeples said.

Population, traffic and steady year-after-year growth are some of the factors Kroger looks at when considering new locations, which were all considered for the new site. Kroger is also investing in a new building at County Line Road and Emerson Avenue in northern Greenwood and will move its current location across the street when completed.

Grocery growth

Johnson County has gotten new grocery store options within the past year. Here’s a look at what stores have been opening their doors:


Location: Southeast corner of Smokey Row Road and State Road 135 in the Center Grove area

Status: In planning, not expected to open in 2015. Plans include grocery store, gas station and additional shops for other stores


Location: East side of Emerson Avenue, just north of County Line Road in Indianapolis

Status: Under construction. Kroger will move from its current location on the west side of Emerson Avenue into the new building.


Location: Southwest corner of U.S. 31 and Commerce Drive, Franklin

Status: In planning. Developer is working on land purchase and site plans. Franklin is also hearing about several new stores interested in locating nearby.


Location: Southwest corner of Smith Valley Road and State Road 135, Greenwood

Status: Under construction. Store is expected to open this year.

Earth Fare

Location: 2110 E. County Line Road, Indianapolis

Status: Opened in July

Fresh Thyme Market

Location: 8750 U.S. 31 South, Indianapolis

Status: Opened in June


Location: 300 State Road 135, Greenwood

Status: Opened in October