Buyer being pursued for former grocery store

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Officials with Marsh Supermarkets, owners of the former Greencastle Lobill Foods store, say they are continuing to entertain offers to buy the building located at 1033 Indianapolis Rd.

Lennie Hayes, with the company's headquarters in Indianapolis, told the BannerGraphic via e-mail Thursday that Marsh has received several offers to buy the building but has not accepted any of them.

He also said the company has received a couple of requests from clients wanting to lease the property, but again there have been no agreements made.

The Greencastle Lobill was closed in November of last year along with 15 other stores owned by Marsh in the Midwest.

Marsh officials said the closings were a result of the company trying to improve its financial performance. They said the stores that were chosen for closing were those that were not meeting their requirements for sales or lacked the potential for future growth.

Hayes said Marsh still owns the building in Greencastle and has been marketing it on its website, through mailers and other means.

However, a quick check of Marsh's website,, on Friday showed the Greencastle store was not listed among several other stores that are currently for sale or lease by the company.

Cities where either a building or a piece of land is for sale or lease include Indianapolis, Muncie, Brownsburg, Greenfield, Fishers and Greenville, Ohio.

Three weeks ago, Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael had reason to believe that Marsh was perhaps a little closer to a decision about the building than previously thought.

She, along with about a dozen other people from Greencastle who are putting together preliminary plans for a community center in the city, have toyed with the idea of utilizing the former Lobill building for that purpose. She said she hoped the company would be willing to donate the building or partner with the city to purchase the building.

But when Michael presented the idea to Marsh officials in late January, she was told the company was working with a commercial client for the building and was not ready to consider the city's request.

"They are still pursuing commercial tenants," Michael said. But she said she will continue to follow the issue and present the idea again if the situation presents itself.

"We are staying in contact with them in the event that it would be (made available)," Michael said.

According to the company's website, Marsh operates 67 Marsh grocery stores, 31 LoBill Foods, six O'Malia's markets, and 148 Village Pantry convenience stores in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

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