By Karen Kennedy
Shapiro’s Carmel employees have confirmed that, after more than 11 years in business, the store will be closing on June 17.
Employees said they were given the news on June 12, and the atmosphere was somber in the storefront as employees absorbed the news. A store manager who was working in the Indianapolis location after the announcement declined to comment.
Ara Knepp, the facility manager of Althletico which is a neighboring business, expressed disbelief and dismay upon hearing the news.
“There were literally busloads of people in and out of there all the time,” Knepp said. “Rumors have definitely been going around. Patients have been asking if they were closing. But it doesn’t make any sense, it was always busy. I guess I need to go in there and get my fix. I’ve always told people how to find us by asking them if they knew where Shapiro’s was. I guess I’ll have to do something else now.”
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the ownership and tenancy agreements of the building at 918 S. Range Line Rd. Although many people have assumed that Brian Shapiro owns the entire building, Knepp pays her rent to Dr. Debbie Boyer and does not know how the ownership of the rest of the building breaks down.
Shapiro has a lease agreement with the city going back to 2010, when the Carmel City Center Development Corp. bought out Shapiro’s nearly $2.5-million mortgage. Shapiro was to have been making rent payments in the amount of $1,000 per month, but questions surround whether he has made those payments in a timely manner. According to records at the Hamilton County Assessor’s office, Shapiro owns 98 percent of his building, with the City of Carmel owning the rest. However, the City of Carmel is paying the property taxes, which are current.
As of this publication, Shapiro had not yet been available for comment.