Despite marketing effort, Marsh building attracts very little interest

The city of Warsaw purchased the old Marsh property but has not had much interest in the land from prospective buyers. News Now Warsaw file photo.
By David Slone

WARSAW — The old Marsh building on South Buffalo Street in Warsaw may be sitting empty for a while longer.

The city bought the Marsh property, 500 S. Buffalo St., from Cardinal Services for $1.25 million in early 2023. The Warsaw Redevelopment Commission also approved an agreement with Ram Development last year for Ram to have one year to try to market the building to a national retailer, preferably a grocery store.

“I think we’re kind of coming to the end of the line with that agreement,” Warsaw Economic and Development Director Jeremy Skinner told the Redevelopment Commission at their meeting Monday. “Honestly, we’ll have to reset and figure out what our next steps are.”

Board President George Clemens asked if there was nothing in the works then with the building. At the recent Alcohol Tobacco Commission of Kosciusko County, Aldi was approved for an alcohol license at an undisclosed second location in Warsaw.

Skinner said Ram tried to market to some people who had some interest in the building, but that interest “wasn’t meeting the economic needs of the agreement. I think they’re pretty much saying that they could not find a tenant.”

The agreement between the city and Ram hasn’t officially been closed yet, but Skinner said he thinks that’s what they’re working toward now.

“We gave it our best shot,” he said.

Clemens said it’s now public knowledge that Aldi was looking for a second location in Warsaw. Skinner said he’ll reach out to them again, but he went “round and round” with them.

“To my knowledge, they had conversations and Aldi just basically said they do not want to be there,” he said. “It makes sense to me. It seems like a logical place for them. I think it would be a good place for them in terms of capturing specific segments of the market, but they don’t feel it.”

Even giving the building away is not incentive enough to draw them in, Skinner stated.
He said he thinks he knows where Aldi is thinking about for a location but they have not specifically said. In the last conversation he had with them, Skinner said he was told Aldi was withdrawing their plans for a second store in Warsaw.

“And then, lo and behold, they buy (a liquor license) and it ends up in the paper again,” he said. “The last conversation I had with their representative out of Chicago said they were not going to build a second store.”

He said Warsaw may be on their target list, maybe Aldi bought the license because it was available and although they said they were not going to build a store right now, two years from now Warsaw might be back on their list and they already have the liquor license.

“They’re going to set their schedules on when they’re going to open their stores. They set a specific amount of stores that they want to try to open. I’m sure it’s on the list if they’ve already looked at it a year ago. When they come forward, it’s hard to say,” Skinner said.

He reiterated that it would make a lot of sense for Aldi to go into the old Marsh building.