Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
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January 21st, 2019
Ty’s Penn Shell Plans

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In January of 2018, Ty Tarr of Ty’s Penn Shell came before the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association concerned that Circle K, owner of the 49th & Pennsylvania property, gas and service station, were choosing to not renew his lease as of September of 2019. The notice was received March 7, 2017 – two-and-a-half years prior to the expiration of the lease.

Upon receiving this news, the MKNA Board of Directors set down a path to engage with Circle K to understand their decision to not renew the lease of a long-time tenant. Circle K is a multibillion-dollar, international company with thousands of units all over the world. Locating the correct Circle K staff members to speak with took months and once contact was made, Circle K was clear with their plans to replace the service bays with an improved convenience store.

In August of 2018, MKNA commissioned the work of a local urban planner to look at the site and re-envision ways in which Circle K could reach their goal of improving the convenience store while maintaining the lease for the mechanic shop. Various options were presented that took several variables into account:

  • Applicable City of Indianapolis Ordinances for gas stations
  • Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Plan
  • Need for increased motorist and pedestrian safety
  • Increasing the size and improving the quality of the convenience store
  • Maintaining the mechanic shop

Tarr was actively engaged throughout the design process.  With approval from Tarr, plans were presented to the MKNA Board of Directors at the October Board Meeting for feedback and consideration. After a discussion at that public meeting, MKNA executive director Chelsea Marburger traveled to meet with Circle K Vice President of Operations for the Midwest Region to discuss the proposed options in lieu of not renewing a lease with Ty.

Circle K explained that this unit was one of the last operating gas station, convenience store and mechanic shops in their portfolio, and they had moved away from this model. Data, public opinion and firsthand experiences were presented to Circle K to impress upon them not only the value of this local business but also the potential impact it leaving could have on their business and community. At the conclusion on the conversation, Circle K maintained their decision to not renew a lease with Ty’s Penn Shell.

Circle K’s desire to provide an updated facility that reflects community image standards and provides a normalized product offering for a neighborhood convenience store including fresh coffee, milk, bread and other staples. Circle K is committed to the following conditions for their improved location given that the improvements/changes are consistent and in accordance with the City of Indianapolis Code:

  • To follow the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Plan and use building materials consistent with surrounding architecture (i.e. red brick, black awnings, larger windows, etc.)
  • To follow all Meridian Street Preservation Commission rules and regulations
  • To stay within the existing structural footprint of the current building
  • To improve the current ingress and egress of the site for increased pedestrian and motorist safety
  • To relocate the restrooms to the interior of the structure rather than outside the building
  • To improve street and landscape on the property
  • To maintain operating hours in line with standard neighborhood practices and proactively address safety concerns on the site
  • To not install an overhead canopy on the site
  • To actively engage with neighborhoods and the neighborhood association on ways to improve operations, product offering, etc. throughout construction and upon the completion of the project

Following that meeting, MKNA began to work with Tarr on locating a property in which he could relocate his business. A variety of properties in and around Meridian-Kessler were considered while one has stood out to Tarr as a viable option. He is currently interfacing with the property owners in hopes of securing a favorable lease to allow him to move and operate his business right here in Meridian-Kessler.

The Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association is committed to serving the needs of our residents as well as the needs of our area businesses, both big and small. We will continue to work with Circle K to ensure this project is inclusive and representative of the needs of the neighborhood as well as work with Ty on a reasonable relocation plan.

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For questions, contact:

Chelsea Marburger                                                      Circle K Midwest

Executive Director, MKNA                                            Real Estate

317-283-1021                                                              812-379-9227 x8216

chelsea@mkna.org                                                      RealEstateColumbus@circlek.com