Zionsville Locksmith & Safe, a vacant building at 390 S. Main St., was demolished July 28. Another vacant building on the same lot, formerly owned by PNC Bank, was scheduled to be demolished later in the week.
The demolition is the first stage of the town’s Gateway Development Project to revamp the area’s appearance, which was a primary goal of Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron’s election campaign.
“This is one of the driving reasons I entered the race for mayor,” Styron said. “For years, I would drive up Zionsville Road from my job in Indianapolis, stop at that stoplight and see a broken gutter hanging on the PNC lot (town officials refer to the vacant building formerly owned by PNC Bank as the PNC building), and I couldn’t understand, how is it that we have this incredible town, this beautiful village, and every single time I drove into it, (the building) looked like something that should be ticketed for breaking some sort of ordinance because of how shabby it looked.”
The buildings have been service providers in Zionsville for decades, Zionsville Street/Stormwater Supt. Lance Lantz said. The lot was previously owned by PNC Bank, which leased the portion of the lot nearest to the Friendly Tavern to the town for a nominal annual fee. When the bank moved its operations to 1395 W. Oak St. and shuttered the bank’s building on Main Street, the town acquired the lot. It briefly served as a hub for zWorks, a local coworking space, and various startups, including, most recently, 120 Water Audit, Inc., a software company, before the firm vacated what was its fulfillment center earlier this year. Zionsville Locksmith & Safe vacated the neighboring building in June.
After the buildings are demolished and the lot is resurfaced, Styron said the town plans to repurpose the space into a parking lot in the short term.
In the fall, town officials, private business owners, residents and stakeholders will hold what Styron called a “community conversation” to determine the best way to develop the area. Town officials have no concrete plans for the gateway. They have engaged Thomas P. Miller & Associates and a local civil engineering firm to assist in the community conversation.
Styron said the town will develop a plan for the gateway that will best work for the town.
“This is such a pivotal moment,” Styron said. “This is where we remove the blighted entryway to our town and we redevelop it. That’s what comes next. I am so glad that, despite all the obstacles unforeseen for 2020, we are moving forward on this.”
Updates on the project and information regarding the community conversation will be posted on the town’s website, zionsville-in.gov.