After sitting vacant for nearly a decade, the former North Anthony Boulevard property that once had a Scott’s grocery store is coming back to life.

Rogers Markets two weeks ago sold .791 acres at 3103 N. Anthony to Hart Management Corp., which has 16 Dairy Queen locations throughout Indiana and one in Michigan. Hart plans to build a new restaurant on the Crescent Avenue side of the long-vacant parking lot.

Rogers has a letter of intent from a “national firm” to purchase the area on the opposite end that once housed a Rogers grocery at 3105 N. Anthony before it became a Scott’s grocery store.

Kroger purchased the store along with other Scott’s stores, but closed it in 2012 after structural problems were discovered. Rogers tore down the building in 2018.

John Rogers, president of Rogers Markets, said he has no idea who the national firm is, but is doubtful that it is a grocer.

“The property is too small for a Meijer or Walmart, or even a Kroger,” Rogers said.

The company tried unsuccessfully for several years to market the property as a food store after contacting all the reputable companies, Rogers said. With Trader Joe’s having just recently opened a store in Jefferson Pointe on the southwest side of town and Fresh Market being more of a suburban market that’s already in Covington Plaza, also on the southwest side, that doesn’t leave many options, he said.

So Rogers Markets in March presented a primary development plan to Fort Wayne Plan Commission to market the 3.78-acre outlots at 3103-3149 N. Anthony for commercial use that included the 9,695-square-foot former Keltsch Pharmacy building. The 1,050-square-foot pyramid-shaped building to the west is leased by Chung King Express Gourmet Chinese Food restaurant. Chung King is under new ownership and plans to remodel this spring, Rogers said.

BND Commercial is handling the sale of the North Anthony outlots. The 10,000-square-foot space where the grocery was is for sale for $550,000. The former Keltsch building is being sold with a 2,000-square-foot outlot for $650,000. The former Keltsch building is being marketed as a shall building, Rogers said.

Dairy Queen’s plans

“We’re attempting to break ground March 1,” said Matt Stilwell, director of operations and development for Fort Wayne’s Hart Management Corp. d/b/a Dairy Queen.

Plans for the new Grill & Chill concept, Dairy Queen’s latest model for Indiana, which includes both grill items and frosty treats, are for an early June opening.

Fort Wayne has about 10 Grill & Chill concept restaurants, what Stilwell calls the “new shiny DQ” concept that’s a 3.0 version.

The new restaurant on Anthony is next to Crescent Avenue in what is listed as a 3,000-square-foot footprint and will have a drive-thru along with inside and patio seating.

Hart Management Corp. owned the Parnell Avenue DQ, the original DQ that closed about two years ago. “We always knew we outgrew that area,” Stilwell said.

The company wanted to stay within a couple of miles of that area, he said.

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