Picket, boycott threatened as neighbors try to keep mechanic at 49th & Penn

(Photo: WTHR)

INDIANAPOLIS - A neighborhood mechanic who has been in business for 39 years may soon have to find a another location.

For Ty Tarr, it’s closing time at 49th and Penn. Just for the night though.

But by June it could be permanent.

“I’ve got a 10 year lease and it’s come up,” said Tarr.

His family been at the corner since the 1970’s, either selling gas or doing complete car repair.

“I don’t know what we would do without Ty! Amen,” said Tarr's supporters, packing a town hall meeting Tuesday at the College Ave. library branch. They want to help him keep his auto repair shop.

He rents space from Circle K which sells gas there and has a tiny shop for cokes and smokes.

“We need Ty. We do not need a convenience store. It’s that simple,” said one Meridian-Kessler resident to applause.

They oppose Circle K’s plans for a larger gas station and convenience store with no service bays.

WIth no Ty.

The shops’s owner got notice of the change from his landlord two years ago. In that time, he says he’s tried to buy the property. Neighbors have tried to change the owner’s mind with a petition drive and yard signs.

Neighbors worry a large convenience store will bring trash, noise and more traffic to a busy corner, and bigger parking problems. Even holdups.

“Once again, corporate America is telling us what we need, not what we want," homeowner Steve Foster said.

They’re sending video of the meeting to Circle K, which was invited but did not appear.

Tarr says he’s looking at his options. He’s not ready to retire.

“We’ll find something if I have to. I don’t want to. I just want to fight to the end and stay here.“

Tarr told us that public opinion saved his lease 12 years ago. He’s hoping history repeats.

Neighbors say they’re willing to picket the Circle K, even boycott the store to influence the company.

We reached out to Circle K but the company did not respond.

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