The anticipated sale of the Brookshire Village Shoppes retail center to an unnamed developer who planned to bring a grocery store to the site will not happen, according to Carmel City Councilor Jeff Worrell.
“Unfortunately, I hate to report that the developer who has been working diligently for almost 12 months to secure a grocer, has terminated their involvement,” Worrell stated in a newsletter email. “In the final hours leading up to securing the lease, major changes to terms were presented that made closing the deal impossible.”
When reached by phone, Worrell said an inability of the developer and grocer to come to terms led to the deal falling apart. He cited confidentiality in declining to name the developer.
Worrell, who represents the district that includes the retail center, said two weeks ago he was informed that the deal was nearing completion, but on March 29 he received word that the grocer and developer could not reach an agreement. Since the developer’s plans were contingent on landing a grocery store, the deal to purchase the shopping center was off, too.
Brookshire Village Shoppes on the southwest corner of 126th Street and Gray Road was home to the city’s lone grocery store east of Keystone Parkway until Marsh supermarkets went out of business in mid-2017. The O’Malia family, which owns Brookshire Village Shoppes, opened a grocery store there in 1982 and operated it until 2001, when it sold its stores to Marsh. Several tenants remain, including CVS, Gymboree Play & Music and Rad’s restaurant.
Several city officials have expressed a desire for a grocery store to open in the center, and many residents who live near the site have echoed that.
Worrell said he’s met with the O’Malia family to discuss next steps and that he’s “turning over stones looking for the next opportunity.” He’s optimistic a grocer will eventually open in the shopping center and said other potential buyers have expressed interest.
“I am committed to working with the O’Malias to do everything in my power to assist them in finding another buyer who is willing to make a grocer a priority,” Worrell said. “We were as close (to reaching a deal) as we had ever been, but that doesn’t mean it’s over, and I do not believe it’s over.”
Worrell said he and others involved gained valuable insight about the local market and learned other useful lessons that will be helpful as the search continues.
“In speaking to the professionals, the Indianapolis market is extremely volatile right now when it comes to the grocery business,” he said. “That has to be taken into account.”
City officials have previously said they don’t plan to be directly involved in the purchase or redevelopment of the site but would let the private sector determine its fate.
This story will be updated.