A NEW USE: Former Kroger site to become self-storage facility

An artist’s rendering shows a proposed site appearance for a storage facility renovated from the former Kroger at Central Avenue and National Road. Submitted photo

A vacant lot at the corner of Central Avenue and National Road that used to house a Kroger supermarket has been sold to an Indianapolis-based company that plans to convert the grocery store building into a self-storage facility.

Tiptonia Partners LLC, located at 6440 Westfield Blvd. in Indianapolis, purchased the property March 2 for $3.6 million, nearly five months after the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals approved the use of the property for a self-storage facility, according to city and county records.

In a conditional use application filed with the Columbus Planning Department on Sept. 22, Tiptonia Partners requested permission to “allow the existing structure formerly used as a ‘Kroger’ to be converted to a fully enclosed and self-contained self-storage facility.”

The site has been vacant since the Kroger Marketplace opened across the street in a new building in 2016.

Renderings of the proposed storage facility attached to the application show a two-story ExtraSpace Storage facility with a drive-thru entrance on what appears to be on the east side of the former grocery store along Central Avenue.

The application also includes plans to divide the parking lot on the north side of the site into two additional lots that could end up being sold off.

William T. Stoops, who is listed in business filings as the principal contact for Tiptonia Partners LLC, did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

“They’re looking to essentially take most of what was the old Kroger parking lot and create two new lots there that can be the locations of other businesses,” said city/county planning director Jeff Bergman.

However, the owners of the property still need to submit a site development plan to the city before any renovation or construction could begin, Bergman said.

Once the plan is submitted, the planning department staff will review it, Bergman said.

As of Monday morning, no site plan had been submitted to the city, Bergman said.

A view of the old Kroger store in Columbus, Ind., pictured Friday, April 16, 2021. Mike Wolanin | The Republic  Mike Wolanin | The Republic
A view of the old Kroger store in Columbus, Ind., pictured Friday, April 16, 2021. Mike Wolanin | The Republic Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Additionally, no construction or remodeling permits of any kind have been applied for on the property, according to county records.

Next, the city’s plat committee will consider plans to create the two new lots in the former grocery store parking lot during its May 20 meeting, which is not open to the public, Bergman said.

The three-member committee includes Bergman, Columbus City Engineer Dave Hayward and city Plan Commission member Barry Kastner.

ExtraSpace Storage, based in Salt Lake City, claims to the be the second-largest storage unit operator in the country, owning or operating over 1,850 self-storage properties across the U.S., including at least 33 in Indiana, according to its website.

The closest ExtraSpace Storage facilities to Columbus are currently in Bloomington and Greenwood.