Indianapolis Business Journal

A new owner has surfaced for the Marsh supermarket on the northeast side of Columbus.

A bankruptcy court filing, posted early Tuesday afternoon, said Fresh Encounter entity Generative Growth II LLC has agreed to pay $8 million to buy 15 Marsh stores, including the Marsh Hometown Market at 3075 E. 25th St. in Columbus.

The 35,240-square-foot Marsh store in Clover Center has been operated under a lease with Pardieck Development of Columbus, which has owned the property since 1982.

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Findlay, Ohio-based Fresh Encounter Inc. is the parent of groceries Community Markets, Great Scott Community Markets, Sack ‘N Save Supermarket and Chief.

Fresh Encounter has been on a growth spree of late. In February, it purchased family-run Remke Markets, based in Erlanger, Kentucky, which operated 10 stores in the Cincinnati area.

Under the various banners, Fresh Encounter operates stores throughout Ohio and eastern Indiana.

In addition to the Columbus location, Fresh Encounter has offered to buy Indiana Marsh stores in New Palestine, Marion, Elwood, Hartford City, Tipton, Pendleton, Richmond, Greensburg, two in Indianapolis, and four more in the Ohio communities of Van Wert, Middleton, Troy and Eaton.

Marsh Supermarkets, based in Fishers, filed to reorganize under the protection of bankruptcy May 11 after closing 19 of its stores.

Tuesday’s bankruptcy court filing also says Kroger Co. entity Topvalco Inc. will spend $16 million to acquire 11 Marsh stores.

That includes two each in Indianapolis, Zionsville, Bloomington and Muncie and single stores in Fishers, Browsburg and Greenwood.

Kroger, with about 2,800 locations nationwide, already has a large presence in the Indianapolis area, including Columbus.

In 2015, the company announced a wide-ranging plan to beef up its operations in central Indiana, including creating or remodeling dozens of stores, establishing a regional training center, and creating an estimated 3,440 jobs.

Kroger opened a 124,000-square-foot Marketplace store at 3060 N. National Ave. in August of last year. It replaced a 56,000-square-foot store at 3110 N. National Road.

Marsh called managers of the remaining stores to its headquarters for a 12:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday, where executives informed them of the results of the auction.

The sales, which require bankruptcy court approval, must overcome the objection of Rhode Island-based CVS Health.

Marsh had operated two grocery stores in Columbus until 2013, including a 26,383-square-foot store at 2710 State St.