Verizon headed for new storefront near old Marsh

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GREENFIELD — Greenfield’s shuttered Marsh store is still looking for a buyer, but the vacancy isn’t stopping one business from moving in nearby.

Verizon will relocate from its current storefront near the Brandywine Crossing shopping plaza (along State Street, between Muskegon and McClarnon drives) to a new building in front of the old grocery store.

The new Verizon building, located at 1240 N. State St., just south of Jimmy John’s, is currently under construction. Crews are also working south of that construction site in the former Marsh’s parking lot to link the future structure up with existing storm, sewer and water systems, said Joanie Fitzwater, Greenfield’s planning director.

Verizon is expected to open in its new location in the spring.

A company like Marsh, taking up space in the biggest building in the plaza, would ordinarily serve as an anchor for smaller retailers that set up shop nearby.

But those working to find a business to fill the Marsh building expect the site to sit empty a little longer.

Marsh closed stores across Central Indiana last year — including the Greenfield location — before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Some locations were saved by other grocery-store chains. For example, the New Palestine Marsh was purchased and now does business as a Needler’s Market.

Marsh first came to Greenfield nearly 60 years ago, and did business for 30 years in the McKenzie Plaza location that’s now sat empty since April 2017.

Keith Stark, a manager with Consortium CRE, a company that works with developers to place businesses in shopping centers and is listing the Greenfield Marsh, said selling a grocery store is a tricky business.

He’s had many callers interested in leasing the property, but none have committed, he said.

Most potential buyers don’t realize how difficult it is to transform an old grocery store into a new kind of space. He joked that whenever he begins listing the different expenses a potential clients might need to consider, the person on the other line hangs up pretty quickly.

“It’s a single-purpose building right now,” Stark explained. “It was a grocery store, and to convert it to anything else is going to be very expensive and complicated.”

Whoever takes over the Marsh will most likely be a company that’s already established in the Indianapolis area but is looking to expand to Greenfield, Stark said. Whoever that company might be, he’s still trying to find it.

“We’re still looking for that needle in the haystack,” he said.