Meijer to break ground this spring

McCORDSVILLE — McCordsville residents who for years have had to commute for their groceries will soon have another option for food, clothing and more.

Officials from Meijer have announced plans to build a 193,000-square-foot store and gas station at the southeast corner of Broadway and Carroll Road in McCordsville. Construction on the 35-acre site is expected to begin in the spring, and town officials say the store should open in 2017.

Meijer, a privately owned company, operates more than 200 stores and employs more than 70,000 people in five states, according to the corporate website.

The proposed store received final approval from the McCordsville Board of Zoning Appeals this month to operate 24 hours a day, which marked the final go-ahead from town officials. The project also received approvals from town officials at two separate public hearings this year.

Meijer, which has owned the property for nearly a decade, pulled plans to build a store on the same site in 2007 as the nation’s economy plummeted, according to Ryan Crum, town building and planning director.

Max Meise, a member of the McCordsville Town Council, said a new store will fill a much-needed gap in the area’s retail sector.

“We need a grocery store like mad,” Meise said. “Most of us drive to Fishers or Lawrence to do our shopping, and we’ve been waiting for something like this for quite some time.”

Once developed, the site will have three outlots available for lease to other companies. The site will have three entrances total, one from Carroll Road and two off Broadway.

Living Streams Community Church is on the site. The Rev. Greg Ruble, pastor of the church, said he’s negotiating a lease with Meijer officials and expects the church to remain.

A Meijer spokesperson couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, but a statement of intent submitted to McCordsville officials says a new store generally necessitates an investment of at least $20 million.

When members of the McCordsville Plan Commission first heard the plans last summer, several residents who live near the proposed site protested the development, citing concerns about light pollution and noise, Crum said.

Austin Trace and Gateway Crossing neighborhoods skirt the boundary of the proposed construction site to the south and east, respectively.

But existing trees and the addition of shrubs will provide a sufficient barrier from light pollution, Meise said. A grouping of dirt mounds, which are designed to reduce noise impact, will be created on the perimeter of the property, he said.

At the most recent public hearing for the project, no one spoke against the plans, Meise said.

Tonya Galbraith, town manager, said the project will anchor the town’s economy, attracting businesses and residents alike.

“Meijer will stimulate the Broadway corridor in McCordsville and should spur some growth,” she said. “We think it’ll also attract residents from regional communities, like Fortville and Lawrence.”

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.