Daily Journal Staff Writer
Whether you have driven past or cut across the vacant parking lot peppered with potholes, you’ve likely wondered what will become of the former Marsh store in Greenwood.
Soon, you could have an answer.
Black Diamond 880 owns the vacant building off U.S. 31 and has agreed to sell the property to Kite Harris Property Group, said Doug Thompson, one of the building’s owners.
But that sale has not been finalized, and what would happen with the property next hasn’t been decided.
Thousands of people drive by the building and its deserted parking lot every day. Since Marsh closed its doors almost three years ago, the 31,000-square-foot building has been used only for fireworks sales during a few summer weeks the past two years.
After Marsh Supermarkets announced the location would close in July 2012, real estate agent Ryan Zickler was hired to market the property and received about 15 inquiries within the first year, but nothing resulted from them. Walmart considered the site but chose one near State Road 135 and Smith Valley Road, Thompson has said.
Just about any retail or service business could use the site under the property’s current zoning, Greenwood senior planner Ed Ferguson said.
Black Diamond 880 and Kite Harris have a purchase agreement, but Paul Kite of Kite Harris Property Group has yet to sign that agreement, Thompson said. Once the agreement is signed, Kite Harris Property Group will have 90 days to finalize the purchase.
What will happen next is the question.
Thompson told the Greenwood board of works that once the purchase is finalized, Kite Harris will tear down the former Marsh store, construct a new building and repave the parking lot. But he said he didn’t know what would be built to replace the former store.
Thompson was in front of the board to discuss a violation for multiple potholes on the property.
Kite said if the purchase agreement is signed, his company has no immediate plans for the property.
For now, the purchase agreement is part of a preliminary plan as both sides continue working on a contract, Kite said.
Kite Harris hopes to have the agreement signed in the upcoming weeks. However, the agreement would be nothing more than a change of landlord for the time being, Kite said.
Regardless of whether redevelopment takes another year or two, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers is happy to see something happening with the property.
“I’m happy that it’s finally being sold,” Myers said. “We’ll finally get that area worked on some more.”
After Marsh closed in 2012, neighboring Kmart shut its doors in January 2015. Rural King moved into the old Kmart building this year, and Horizon Bank is moving into a new building on the south end of the lot.
Johnson Memorial Health purchased property just south of the former Marsh store in January and will build a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot physicians office building with primary care, family and internal medicine doctors. That project should be done in two years, Myers said.
Myers isn’t sure what is being discussed for the former Marsh location but has an idea of what could work best based on the nearby businesses south of Smith Valley Road.
“I haven’t heard a word about (the plans),” Myers said. “It would have to be another type of retail outlet or automotive sales. With Rural King being in there and Johnson Memorial, there is a lot of room for improvement in that area.”