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4 businesses told to move; public health lab to replace strip mall

Local businesses forced to move

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — King’s Beauty and Fashions has been around for two decades on 38th Street a few blocks east of Keystone Avenue.

The small business sells hair extensions, nails and anything beauty.

The retailer survived the COVID-19 pandemic, and its operators say they are now being forced to move.

Business owner Yooae Lim and her husband poured their life savings in the business, but its products now are half-off.

Everything must go.

He said he’d tried to create a community with the business. “I really love the people.”

Lim received a letter from the lawyers of the property owner. The letter says the property owner is terminating the lease at the end of May due to eminent domain. That’s a law that gives the government the right to take, or to authorize the taking of, private property for public use, with just compensation being given to the property owner.

The letter cited the Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County. The quasigovernmental entity operates the Marion County Public Health Department, Eskenazi Health, Eskenazi Health Foundation, Indianapolis EMS, and Long Term Care. Seven trustees appointed by the Indianapolis mayor, the City-County Council, and the County Commissioners govern the corporation.

However, a spokesperson for the Health and Hospital Corp. says it’s not seeking the property through eminent domain. The corporation plans to replace the strip mall holding King’s, another retailer and two restaurants with a new public health laboratory. Construction is set to begin in the summer. 

Stuck in the middle are four businesses, all being forced out.

Body Gear, a clothing store, has also enjoyed two decades in the strip mall in the 2800 block of East 38th Street.

Body Gear owner Young Sup Ko says moving at the end of May doesn’t give him enough time. “No way, because look at the store, look at the merchandise.”

Each business was offered $25,000 to vacate, but Sup Ko says that isn’t enough. He was quoted $43,000 in moving costs, and that’s not all he’s concerned about. “When I try to find a new location, it’s not easy. And also, I need more storage because look at the merchandise.”

Monica Lamb grew up in the neighborhood. “I feel like they shouldn’t shut none of this down because we need this.”

Syreeta Onyeaghala has shopped in the strip mall for decades. She disagrees with the proposed construction. “I know people need health care. It’s close to a bus line, but there are places already established. So, what about the restaurants, the clothing? What are we supposed to do for that? ”