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Construction, Office Depot closure hurting U.S. 31 area businesses

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  • http://www.carmelchatter.com Rick Smith

    While I don’t believe Office Depot is the result of the construction it is clearly causing tremendous stress on local businesses that are felt most acutely by small businesses which don’t have multiple locations to offset their losses here.

    How after the Merchants Square disaster could the city have not foreseen this event and planned any better for it’s impact?

    Astonishing, the very small businesses that must be at the core of an Urbanist system are overlooked and ignored.

    The city needs to spend some of our Promotion money NOW on supporting these businesses. Maybe you get McFeeley working on it or we will pay the price and have our choice of the nicest fast food restaurants in the country.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    8-28-2012 Carmel Chatter Post

    I emailed Corporate Offices for Max and Erma’s, Office Depot (which appears

    to be struggling now), Starbucks and Meijer to make them aware of the
    situation. Meijer has a Real Estate section that rents or sells outlot
    locations at Meijer stores. Carmel appears to be one of a few locations
    that is now fully rented. The implications to them for not only their
    retail but their outlots is significant.

    Spoke with Meijer. The cited the Mayor trying to turn the area into a “destination”.

    Got with INDOT and got traffic counts for the area: http://dotmaps.indot.in.gov/apps/TrafficCounts/

    Interesting numbers, 58,214 go by 111th St./day, 46745 go by old Meridian and 47399 1/10 of a mile N of 126th ST.

    I pull a couple of points out of this. Significant traffic is already entering and exiting at 116th. About 11,000 vehicles/day.

    When you get to 126th St. There is significant turn traffic going in
    both directions, as anyone who uses this intersection will attest, most
    traffic turns N or S onto US 31.

    If you casually look at a map you’ll see that there are significantly
    more feeder roads emanating to and from Carmel Dr than there are 116th.

    Instead of dispersing the traffic we are concentrating it.

    Ponder this. The length of Keystone from 96th to Smokey Row has 1 light
    and 6 ERAB’s For a similar section of a busier highway, US 31, he
    bypasses the most efficient route into the City and has a total of 4
    ERAB’s.

    http://carmelchatter.com/showthread.php?284-The-Main-Street-Challenge/page5&highlight=main+challenge

    NOTE – of the other Businesses I spoke with they said they had been notified but they were told more information would be forthcoming. Apparently that was not the experience of these small business owners.

    • Thorvington Finglethorpe

      It’s debatable: Office Depot (and dinosaurs like it) are all doomed, to be sure, but if they hadn’t been making money they wouldn’t have been there. The fact that the construction pushed that location “over the edge” is unfortunate. I’m also appalled that Carmel didn’t do a better job preparing for this–maybe having crews working 24×7 until it’s completed, given the economic impact the closure has had. (Not to mention the enormous inconvenience for people who live and work nearby.)

  • David

    Come on, get your story straight. Office Depot closed not due to the construction. Their lease was up and the merger with OfficeMax has meant the closing of hundreds of both stores across the country as they consolidate their businesses.