Two longtime Noblesville businesses have permanently closed their doors as the city of Noblesville prepares to begin a major improvement project along Pleasant Street this fall that officials say will improve east and west connectivity.
The project, known as Reimagine Pleasant Street, is estimated to cost $115 million and will be completed in three phases, City Engineer Alison Krupsky said. The first phase, which will stretch 1.1 miles from West River Road to 10th Street, includes work Hamilton County plans to build a bridge over the White River, Krupsky said.
The public can expect to see construction begin on the first phase — estimated to cost $59 million — sometime in October. Krupski said the project took years to build.
“The main goal of this project is east-west connectivity,” she said. “The city really needed another White River crossing with the goal of reducing traffic through downtown Noblesville.”
But businesses near the intersection of 10th Street and Pleasant Street, such as El Camino Real, a Mexican restaurant, and Dairy Queen, have already closed because the city needs to acquire the land where the eateries are located for the project.
797 S. 10th St. Ignacio Rodriguez, who owns Ma El Camino Real, said he thinks the Pleasant Street project will benefit the community once it’s completed. Rodriguez would not disclose the exact amount paid for his property and directed a reporter to legal paperwork posted on the front door, which indicated the city paid $552,250.
Rodriguez said he is in ongoing discussions with city officials about the matter and that it is possible he will be transferred in the future. El Camino Real had been in business since 1998 before closing at the end of July.
“We have to cooperate,” he said regarding working with the city.
Rodriguez thanked customers for their years of support, saying they made many memories for him in his business.
“It’s a pleasure to work in the community,” he said. “We’ve done our best to satisfy customers.”
Still, Rodriguez said the decision to close was difficult.
“We will miss everyone,” he said.
Across the street, Dairy Queen has also been affected by the upcoming Pleasant Street project and was a longtime staple in the area. Kathy Zeller, general manager, said the business has been in its current location since 1975 and was previously located diagonally across from where the property currently sits.
The longtime business was owned by the Risner family, which owns several other Dairy Queen franchises in central Indiana, and Zeller confirmed the city purchased the property at 798 S. 10th St. She did not know the purchase price, she said.
Zeller said she knew Dairy Queen would be affected by the Pleasant Street project, although the timing is unclear.
“We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know how soon,” Zeller said.
The business, which closed on August 7 as it was its last day of operation, had long queues of customers that day.
Zeller, who oversees four full-time and five part-time employees, said the business isn’t going anywhere and will have to build on a new site at some point. Dairy Queen employees affected by the closing were offered jobs at other stores owned by the Reisner family, Zeller said.
Still, Zeller said the decision to close was “very heartbreaking” because many families enjoyed coming to Dairy Queen. Signage has already been removed at the business, which has a “Thanks for the memories” message on one side of the letterboard outside.
“I know the general public is disappointed,” she said. “It’s not the businesses they’re upset about, but the whole transformation of the community.”
For Zeller, Dairy Queen has been a big part of his life, noting that 2022 will mark his 49th year with the company, but he’ll be working at one of the many Dairy Queens owned by the Reasners in Elwood, Tipton or Greenfield. There is a plan. Tipton resident Helen Smith, who worked at the Noblesville location for three years, said she was also disappointed to see the store close.
“It’s just sad, sad to see it end,” Smith said.
For more information about the Reimagine Pleasant Street project in Noblesville, visit reimaginepleasantst.com or call 317-773-4614.