With the exception of Applebee’s and Bob Evans, located within 1-2 miles of the Fort, there are no sit-down restaurants that would serve families and adults. All other restaurants are self-serve and none serve alcohol. Recent data suggests that local restaurateurs catering to families and finer dining would do very well at the Fort. Further, Qdoba, which has its area franchise headquarters located at the Fort, is interested in opening a store as well as a possible Subway expansion.
The Fort Harrison State Park Inn has 28 sleeping rooms with conference facilities large enough for 150 people. The Garrison has conference facilities for up to 350 people. Large groups of 400 or more have no place to go at the Fort since Primo Banquet Hall left in spite of the fact that area’s amenities are conducive for large group events such as corporate retreats, weddings, and special events. The Lawrence Soccer Complex brings in up to three soccer tournaments every year, often bringing in hundreds of families from as far away as Canada for tournament play. Many of these families stay at Castleton. The Army Reserve, Indiana National Guard and Finance Center also bring guests in from out of town. Data suggests that a hotel would do very well at the Fort as a result of the need for close-by lodging.
Family Entertainment & Shopping
The Fort is already a destination for visitors going to the YMCA, State Park, and soccer fields. Further entertainment and shopping amenities would only add to the area’s offerings. A bike and/or skate shop, book, eyeglass, and shoe store are among some of the most requested retail.
Boutique Grocery/Meat Market
Kroger and Marsh have big box stores located within 2-3 miles of the Fort; Aldi’s has a store within 1-2 miles of the Fort; and a large Walmart is located within 1-2 miles of the Fort. That said, a smaller grocery store catering to discretionary shoppers who buy more organic and unique foods would do very well at the Fort. There are no custom meat markets on the northeast side. Shoppers must travel greater distances to purchase custom wines and cheeses.
Cottage & Town Homes
Three current builders in Lawrence, Arbor, Beazer, & MI Homes, are not building the smaller, quality single-family homes that would work very well at the Fort. Many people currently living at the Fort are upper income people with grown children seeking to downsize. As a result, a smaller cottage home product from $175,000 to $220,000 would be ideal in a dense residential setting that could also include townhomes.