By Ken de la Bastide The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON – Interim changes are planned at the former Edgewood Plaza shopping center site and the city will be creating a roundabout to improve traffic flow near the southside Applewood Centre.
The Anderson Redevelopment Commission recently considered a contract with the engineering firm of Butler Fairman & Seufert Inc. to design a gateway plan for the former westside shopping center property, now owned by the commission.
Mike Spyers, city engineer, said the intent is to develop a “green space” area until the property is developed.
Spyers said the work will include lighting and signage.
“We want to identify the area as a gateway into the city,” he said.
Greg Winkler, interim director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said the paved parking lot in front of the former Edginn restaurant will be removed.
Wild flowers will be planted with walking paths, he said. The city is looking at some special uses as an arts venue that will allow local residents to paint graffiti and artwork on plywood in the area.
“This is an interim fix,” Winkler said. “Our long-term plan is for a commercial development on the property.”
The city is working on the demolition of three vacant buildings on the property.
The former King Gyros building on Indiana 32 is scheduled for demolition with construction of a new retail development planned for later this spring.
Winkler said a “food truck” has been operating successfully at the intersection of Raible Avenue and Indiana 32 in the warmer weather, an indication that there is a demand for retail services in the area.
The Redevelopment Commission also approved a resolution to amend the work plan for the creation of a roundabout at 59th Street, in front of the former Anderson Inn motel.
The projected cost of the project is $1.3 million which includes new lighting in the area.
Roundabouts, or traffic circles, have become a familiar sight in neighboring Hamilton County in recent years and have proven popular in Europe.
The plan is to construct a roundabout to the west of Scatterfield Road and the realignment of 59th and 60th streets to provide for improved traffic flow.
Additional right of way for the traffic circle will be provided at no cost to the city by the owners of Applewood Centre, developers of the former hotel site.
Work is expected to start in the spring, awaiting approval from the Indiana Department of Transportation on recalibrating the traffic signal on Scatterfield Road.
“The new retail development will be a part of Applewood Centre,” Paul Nicholson, chief operating officer for the southside shopping center, said in December. “We expect to have several restaurants, a number of retailers and we are working with a whole bunch of tenants.”
Winkler said discussions to create a roundabout began shortly after Ivy Tech Community College decided to build an almost $20 million, 85,000-square-foot facility on 38 acres of land on the north side of Interstate 69.
Nicholson said Applewood Centre is northeast of the hotel site and totals about 15 acres. He said the deed for the hotel property was acquired about three weeks ago and it will take a few months to completely tear down the building and haul it away.
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Plaza facts u The Edgewood Plaza opened on Nichol Avenue/Indiana 32 in 1960. At one time, there was a Citizens Bank branch, ALDI's and Pay Less grocery stores, Kmart, Edginn restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, clothing stores, barber shop and Big Lots. u The Edgewood Plaza shopping center was closed and demolished in 2012.