As soon as this fall, a vacant strip mall at a busy Greenwood intersection will be torn down, but what exactly will replace it is still being determined.
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved offering $1.1 million to purchase the 8-acre property on the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and County Line Road. The strip mall is vacant and city officials have called it an eyesore.
A previous owner of the 50,000-square-foot Greenwood Crossing strip mall filed for bankruptcy in 2013, and more than $120,000 in overdue taxes and fines is owed on the property, which currently is set to go to the county’s tax sale. The property is now owned by a national investment firm, which would be required to pay the overdue taxes as part of the sale.
The plan is to demolish the building, tear up the pothole riddled parking lot and convert the land into a grassy field. Demolition work, expected to cost about $250,000, is expected to be done this fall, Greenwood capital projects manager Kevin Steinmetz said.
Then, the city wants input from the public on what should be done with the site, which city officials are eying as a possible park or spot for a farmer’s market.
The property is bordered by apartments and neighborhoods on the east and southeast sides, and other commercial development to the north. Right across the street is the Greenwood Park Mall.
But the strip mall property is in a flood zone and was damaged in the flood of 2008 when waters rose from nearby Pleasant Run Creek. The area closest to the creek is designated as a floodway, so almost no type of new construction can occur in those areas. Farther away from the creek the land is in a floodplain, which can be built on if new structures are built 2 feet above the 100-year flood elevation.
In recent years, a few of the buildings have been torn down, the center has had repeated vacancies and the location was previously considered as a possible site for a bus stop on the Red Line, the mass transit system that would go from Carmel to Greenwood.
Currently, multiple buildings remain on the site that used to house a restaurant, a church and businesses.
Redevelopment commission member Chuck Landon said the city should check to see if any of the buildings could be salvaged and possibly used for a year-round farmer’s market site.
The city should also be creative when designing the park, and look at having a variety of plants and trees that could be used for educational purposes, he said.
“I don’t just want a park with a shelter and picnic table,” Landon said.