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Carmel small businesses upset by Monon Square redevelopment

CARMEL, IND. (WISH) — Monon Square in Carmel houses several small businesses. One of those being, Union Brewing Company which opened in 2012, now the owner Nathan Doyle says the company is being forced to relocate for a new redevelopment project.

“We’ve always kind of existed as the oasis in Carmel. Kind of the old school or just more real feeling spot and there’s not room for that it doesn’t seem anymore,” Doyle said.

Doyle had big plans to be a mainstay along the Monon Trail in Carmel. His business Union Brewing Company was one of the first breweries in the city. Thankfully for Doyle, his company was able to find a location to move his business, but he’s feeling very cautious.

“It’s a struggle for us because we’re a small business. We don’t have the pockets to keep doing this over and over, but we’d like to be in Carmel, that’s where all of our people are,” Doyle said.

Peg Durrer owns Antique Emporium, once located at Monon Square, she was forced to relocate in February.

“The little town that we helped build is no longer the little town that we helped build, but that’s the way the mop flops as they say,” Durrer said.

News 8 reached out to the Director of Redevelopment with the City of Carmel, he sent us a statement that reads:

“The tenants have known since 2018 that the 1960’s style giant parking lot strip center was going to be demolished. For a while now the tenants have rented month to month at below market rates, and were all given an extra year notice last year about the forthcoming demo. The Carmel Redevelopment Commission worked to relocate tenants and help them through the pandemic. The plaza also housed local nonprofits for free. I’m excited for these places … to continue to call Carmel home, as Monon Square redevelops into a huge economic development project, the final missing piece of our vibrant, walkable downtown between midtown and city center.”

Doyle says that help hasn’t really been there for them.

“As we moved towards the final days we thought we’d have more help and we’ve kind of just been on our own,” Doyle said.

Matt Rider has owned and operated the Monon Square Barbershop since 2006. He says operating a small business is already hard enough before a relocation.

“Why are they pushing us all out? It just seems to me like if you don’t have deep pockets you’re not gonna make it here,” Rider said.

As for Union Brewery, Doyle says they’re fortunate to be able to find a new location on the trail, but it doesn’t negate the way he feels.

“If you’ve been in Carmel, and you’ve helped build the economic end of this city, the I don’t think they should just wash their hands of you when the big money comes in,” Doyle said.