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Proposed Meijer at 56th and Keystone

It appears to be only a matter of time before a new Meijer store is constructed at the southwest corner of 56th Street and Keystone Avenue. The most recent site plan is linked below. Fortunately, it appears that the proposed gas station on the property has been dropped:

meijer

To put the size of this store in perspective, the affected parcels are outlined in light blue here:

meijer2

In addition to replacing the car dealerships (which is fine by me), this will also remove two nice sized plots of forest. The president of the North Kessler Park Neighborhood Committee, Kassandra Green, has contacted me to express concern that the residents directly to the north of this proposal have for this development. Here is a list that seems reasonable to me:

  • Remove the entrance off of 56th Street, or at least make it separate from the neighborhood entrance in some way.
  • Add sidewalks to the neighborhood to the north to aid in pedestrian safety.
  • Add in a barrier and sensitive lighting to help shield the neighborhood from the 24-hour nature of the store.
  • Add in landscaping.

Ms. Green made sure to add that the association is not trying to stop the development, but instead they want to soften the blow to the neighborhood and make it more of a win for the city. Any other thoughts would be welcome here.

38 Responses to “ “Proposed Meijer at 56th and Keystone”

  1. Joe Smoker says:

    The issue with the access to 56th Street is to allow for customers to have the option of using a signalized intersection. The only other options would be to try and install yet another traffic light further south along Keystone to align with one of the other entrances. This would make three signalized intersections within a two block stretch.

    Asking for off-site improvements is tricky. I completely agree with the need for the sidewalks, but is that truly Meijer’s responsibility, or is that the City’s? This is similar to an impact fee, but is the full impact truly created by Meijer, or just a long standing history of Indy’s lack of sidewalks?

    Additional landscaping, shielded lighting and limits on external speakers are very reasonable expectations, not that the others aren’t on a broader scale.

    • That is true about the traffic light, although it was something I thought about. I think they might want to create a dead end (ideally with a sidewalk connection) at Brouse Avenue and 56th so the neighborhood isn’t connected via asphalt. I don’t like the idea of adding another stop light on Keystone.

      I think Ms. Green was asking for the city to put in the sidewalks, not the Meijer.

  2. Matt says:

    Is it crazy to think that they can’t save at least the farther back plot of trees? Also, why not build the structure all the way pushed up against 56th street. Then the city could throw in some sidewalks and at least keep some kind of pedestrian experience facing the neighborhood.

    Seems like a few siting tweaks could really make this project better.

  3. Joe Smoker says:

    If you develop within a flood plain and remove trees, you are required to replace at a 3-1 or 4-1 ratio. In Indy, outside of a flood plain, there is zero replacement required.

    • Beth says:

      I wonder about the flooding issues. Keystone at Kessler is a notoriously bad area for flooding. And, the area on 56th Street west of Keystone is a marshy area called Bacon’s Swamp. You can read more about it here: https://books.google.com/books?id=bg13Qc

      I’m not an engineer, and am not opposed to Meijers. But it’s a shame to cut down all the trees that help to shield that residential neighborhood and also to lessen flooding and runoff.

    • Kathy says:

      Not sure but there is a chance this development is on Zone X. It’s hard to see the dotted line on the FEMA map online. Would they still have to replace the trees at this ratio?

  4. Allen says:

    Agree that I would love to see the sight plan modified to create a stronger “city feel” to the streetscape rather than another “mall” with a huge parking lot facing the street. I would also love to leave some trees between the space and the neighborhood, though a retention pond is a must and there should be hundreds more in this flood-prone area. Solution…. make them put in a parking garage underneath the thing, and you have room for and design possibilities for all of that. Not only that, I’d shop there in a heartbeat in the rain if I could park underneath the place.

    All of that said, I’m in favor of any new development in the area which is just plain ugly right now. The way I see it, it will increase the likelihood that the 52nd and Keystone (Marsh et al) hole in the ground might be re-developed.

  5. Kathy says:

    Why the City of Indianapolis would allow Meijer to put a driveway in a residential neighborhood is truly a mystery. Why would our city officials put pedestrians and commuters lives in danger of serious injury or death from the increased cut through traffic impact? This development is unnecessary, there are plenty of stores within two miles of this proposed development that offer the same products as Meijer.

    • Allen says:

      First, sorry to be a devil’s advocate, but they are not making 56th a through street. It looks to me like they are adding ingress and egress on to 56th 1 block long there by the way. So, traffic will be going, um, how fast turning into and out of Meijer. 54th and 52nd and Kessler will remain the through streets, unless I am mistaken, so we are talking about what safety issue here? I’m no where near a red-state kind of guy, but I do think our safety woes in this country have gotten way out of hand. And as far as plenty of stores, I don’t disagree, but the area is darn near urban blight Kathy. If the area looked like Broad Ripple, I would say you are right, but to leave that intersection as it is would be to welcome decay. Keystone is by far the ugliest byway on the North side and needs improvement.

      • Kathy says:

        In order to avoid the traffic congestion on Keystone, 56th street is currently a cut through via Hillside and Brouse to get to Broad Ripple Ave. and Kessler and if you prefer a stoplight there is one readily available to you at Crittenden in between Christ the King and Bishop Chatard High School.
        This ingress/ egress onto 56th is just too dangerous.

      • John says:

        The entire neighborhood from 56th to Kessler along Brouse and Hillside has heavy pedestrian traffic with young families and children. An open ingress-egress on 56th street will increase the traffic through the neighborhood, just to avoid the traffic nightmare on Keystone. Current traffic is largely attributable to Bishop Chatard. Sidewalks would improve the safety, but the traffic flow 24-7 presents other security issues. The city should consider dead-ending 56th at Brouse.

        • LastBoyScout says:

          The same issues plague many of the Broad Ripple neighborhood streets, including, but not limited to: Rosslyn, Primrose, Ralston, Kingsley, Norwaldo, Critenden, Hillside, and Brouse. The solution is to enforce the speed limits and stop signs. If people actually stopped at the stop signs, cutting through on these side streets would not be faster and people would use the major arterial streets as intended.

        • Brent says:

          Though the store may be open 24/7, I seriously doubt it will experience much traffic between 9pm and 6am. And the traffic it does attract during the overnight hours will likely use Keystone since there is little congestion during those hours.

  6. Claire Milford says:

    Please Brouse Ave open to 56 the st.

  7. Chris Barnett says:

    The notion that cut-through traffic coming from the west on Kessler will speed through the neighborhood to get to Meijer is unrealistic, since it’s only a block further to Keystone and then a right turn into Meijer.

    Any perceived threat can easily be dealt with by a couple of speed humps in Brouse and Hillside…and those streets should be kept open to 56th so that the neighbors there can easily bypass Kessler.

    Just north, at Glendale, the neighborhood streets have long been disconnected from the shopping area, which forces the neighbors who live due west from Glendale to drive three or four blocks extra through the neighborhood to get there…increasing traffic at the congested Kessler and Broad Ripple intersections with Keystone.

    If the neighborhood really wants to discourage cut-through traffic, they should dead-end 58th at Keystone.

    • Kathy says:

      The notion that people would not cut through the neighborhood from the west is unrealistic. They do it now. And you ask anyone that lives on say 61st and Burlington and they will probably tell you they go over Hillside at Kessler and come out on 56th to go downtown for work every morning. Speed bumps are not going to help the traffic issue, there’s no sidewalks and curbs on the streets to keep the cars from going around speed bumps and in front yards. It will also wreak havoc on cars. There is no safe place for the kids to get on or off the IPS school bus or walk to Christ the King or Bishop Chatard. Deadend 56th at Brouse and disconnect the residential neighborhood from Meijer like you said they did at Glendale or don’t put a driveway on 56th. Dead ending 58th at Keystone would do absolutely nothing to help the traffic problem from Meijer. Also, the crime from the foot traffic that will be a result of the Meijer parking lot open to the neighborhood is another undesirable feature of this development

      • LastBoyScout says:

        As someone who has lived at 61st and Burlington for the last year and a half while working downtown, I never take that route. Ever. It is always Evanston to Kessler to Keystone. I checked with some neighbors and no one else uses that route either (roommate and some friends at 61st and Norwaldo).

        If you want to stop cut through traffic, put a stop sign at every intersection.

        • Kathy says:

          Yep you’re absolutely correct- you’re taking taking the route you should be taking and stopping at all of the stop signs along the way- you really are the last Boy Scout:)

  8. Zieg says:

    Once again it is NOT WE THE PEOPLE….

    How sad to cut both forest down….what happened to green space?????

    We do not mind the Meijer coming in, but we are extremely concerned on how traffic will affect our neighborhood. Meijer customers will be cutting through Brouse and Hillside from Kessler. Our neighbor hood has NO sidewalks so I guess it will take someone being struck by a car for the City Council and the Mayor….before anything will be done.

    • C says:

      I agree this has not been ‘we the people’. I don’t mind the Meijer as I also think it will help the decaying Keystone area. But, Why is it always necessary in Indy to clear trees rather than work them into the development. We cry for ‘green space’ but then we destroy the existing green space.

      I also agree that 56th should have a dead end so that traffic cannot cut through our neighborhood. Sidewalks are not the fix.

  9. Brad says:

    Okay – Please enough about this particular green space as I believe it not used at all right now. Furthermore, I don’t believe it ever will be. The heart of the matter is this – this store = jobs on a bus line. As a resident of the area – I’m ready for the groundbreaking.

    • Matt says:

      I think the point is you can have both, if you just try a little bit.

      • Yup, they just plopped down their standard box and it ended up to fit the parcels perfectly. That may work in a greenfield, but I’d like to think we can ask for a little bit more here.

        • Kathy says:

          I’m sure back in the day when we were Indian-no-place the city put very minimum requirements for developers in order to attract them to build here. The result is Lafayette Square area, Washington Square, Eastgate, Pendleton Pike and Keystone at 52nd where Target bailed, The shopping center at 46th/keystone or where Mainscape is south of Fall Creek. The neighborhoods and property values suffer. The citizens leave Marion County. Do we really need to flatten out green space and add another big box store on Keystone? You would think its time to require retail impact studies or something. I don’t know what the answer is.

    • susan says:

      It IS used! By birds and other animals. It’s also “used” by all of us who breathe!

  10. Kassandra Green says:

    Let’s hope it does not close down in 5 years to add to the urban blight like in Ohio!

    http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2013/03/04/meijer-in-newark-closing.html

  11. Kassandra Green says:

    FYI: The permit for the driveway states that there is expected to be an increase of 9,822 vehicles DAILY. This driveway will be on 56th Street, a residential street and directly across from two houses. For a person to say that increased traffic in the neighborhood shouldn’t be a concern is na├»ve.

    • thundermutt says:

      As pointed out far above in the comments, the vast majority of that projected traffic on 56th will be coming from Keystone westbound into Meijer, or back out the same way, because the intersection is signalized.

      There are only a few hundred homes who have easy access to the Meijer site now through the 56th & Hillside or 56th & Brouse connections, and (1) many of them may already go that way to get to grocery stores nearby (Aldi and Marsh to the south) to avoid Kessler & Keystone, and (2) not all of them will be Meijer customers anyway. This “cut through will be created by Meijer” argument is bogus…I’ll take the resident’s claim the problem already exists…but it won’t be made a whole lot worse by this store, and there are reasonable solutions being suggested. But these were never homes on dead-end streets before, and they shouldn’t be now.

      (And the idea of people driving through yards to avoid speed bumps? Really, we should keep this argument grounded in reality. I have NEVER seen tire tracks through a yard in a neighborhood with speed bumps. Ever.)

    • Paul says:

      9,822 vehicles daily is about the amount of cars New York St or Michigan St see everyday for comparison, I somehow doubt the traffic will be that high. The traffic counts for there on Keystone are just under 40k a day. So explain how this will amount to 1/4 of daily traffic on this six lane road being routed through a drive off a side street to get into Meijer?

      Not trying to be combative or supportive of this development but it is important to keep things in perspective.

      Source: http://www.indympo.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/www.indympo.org/PDF/2002tcount.pdf

  12. thundermutt says:

    It may be that the 9,000 plus cars per day is Meijer’s estimate of the total traffic to their site; I took the previous poster’s word for it that the plans had that number in them. I agree that seems high in light of the 2002 traffic count on Keystone…but it doesn’t seem totally unrealistic when you consider how many people live and shop within 3-5 miles.

    In any case, I think we agree: no more than a hundred or two cars will head into Meijer from the neighborhood streets (or into the neighborhood going out of Meijer), and those are most likely to be the people already driving down those streets a couple times a day because they live there.

  13. Eric says:

    Yeah but it’s still a Meijer’s…

  14. Nate Lichti says:

    Terrible site plan. Bring the building to the front of the site, snug up to Keystone and move the cars to the rear. There’s potential for transit along this corridor,and we want to encourage walking And biking in the city. Plus, the aesthetic appeal of the building will be much more pleasing than power lines and cars. Frustrating that Indy still permits these car oriented site plans. This kind of project has the potential of setting new standards along this corridor. Let’s step it up Indy.

    • Paul Lambie says:

      That’s true Nate. But we have an ordinance designed to churn out the very worst versions of suburban-style development. I believe about the only thing the City had any discretion over is whether or not to allow a driveway permit for the expanded access onto 56th Street, which they perhaps shouldn’t have allowed given how close it is to the intersection. The rest of it appears to be just what our zoning ordinance ordered.

      Indy Re-what? one might say. Try http://www.indyrezone.org and let me know how that’s coming along. Yet one more needed act of progress for Indy that I’m no longer holding my breath over. Sigh.

  15. Corinna says:

    Any news on when this is slated on open?

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