New tire stores rolling into town


By Chris Bavender

Two tire stores set to open in Whitestown, Big O Tires and Tire Discounters, will have a competitive spirit going from the start as plans call for them to be separated by one building, a Taco Bell.

Big O Tires plans to open at 6411 Whitestown Pkwy., the site of a former Shell gas station, with three service bays and 10 employees.

“We are very excited to see a business bringing new life to the old, dilapidated Shell site,” said Tanya Sumner, director of public relations for the Town of Whitestown. “That piece of property has been a rundown eyesore for years.”

Tire Discounters plans to build on a vacant lot just east of Big O in a more than 7,000-square-foot facility. It would have eight service bays and employ between 30 and 40 people. The lot had been the proposed site for a Kentucky Fried Chicken 10 years ago.

“That lot is a prime location, on the south side of Whitestown Parkway, close to Main Street. That’s why the KFC was interested in that location back in 2008,” Sumner said. “But that’s when the Recession hit, causing the entire Anson development here in Whitestown to stall for several years.”

Sumner said shops selling the same products in such close proximity isn’t that unusual.

“In fact, we’ve seen it happen several times here in Whitestown,” she said. “For example, we’ve had several nail salons, pizza restaurants, pet supply stores and dental offices open within fairly close proximity to one another, and within a fairly short time frame. The free market will decide which businesses will endure for the long term.”

Sumner said a third tire store, Belle Tire, also is interested in Whitestown. It would be off I-65 along Perry Worth Road near the new WoodSpring Suites Hotel. Plans for that shop will go before the Whitestown Plan Commission in November.