EARLIER: Business owners see bright future for East End

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By Josh Moore

Ryan Ping is optimistic about the future for the eastern end of Shelbyville.

Ping, who has owned the Sears store for two years, said that with a new judicial center, new Kroger Marketplace store and new bypass, he expects business to be a lot better in that part of town.

“I like this place, I like this area, and I see it improving in the future,” he said.

And with all the changes, officials are looking for the public's opinion on what they want to see happen in the east end of the city over the next several years.

The City of Shelbyville and the Triple S Planning Commission will host a public workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Stratton Community Center to discuss the future of the East End, between Fourth Street and Mount Eden Road.

Triple S Executive Director Ryan Libke said business owners and residents from the area and the rest of the county are invited to come with their ideas.

“How do they want this area to look in the next 10, 15, 20 years?” he said.

The small area plan won't be a law or ordinance but instead will be a guide for the city in the future, Libke said.

It will help the city make decisions about land use, needed community facilities and requirements for architecture and other elements, he said.

Jerry Colvin, who has owned Robo Car Wash and Colvin's Auto Sales on Main Street for 33 years, said he would like to see the East End cleaned up like the historic district is.

“We're like two different towns in one,” he said.

Colvin said he expects more attorney offices and other government-related businesses to come to the area near the new judicial center in the future.

He suggested that “a nice restaurant would be great” to bring people to the area, too.

Karie Bond agreed with Colvin's restaurant idea. She, along with her husband , Brian, has owned Victory Sports in Governor's Square for two years.

But Bond said the biggest thing is for the locally owned businesses to come together to bring more visibility to the area.

“There is so much focus on the middle of town, the historic district,” she said. “A lot of times we're not  included in the celebrations of Shelbyville.”

Bond said local East-End businesses need to advertise together and hold more events to get their name out over the big corporations.

“Small businesses can't afford it alone,” she said. “Everybody needs to work together to get results.”

Bond said she worries with the new, larger Kroger coming soon, locally owned businesses will be hurt even further.

“I've been here [in Shelbyville] my whole life,” she said. “It's kind of losing that down-home feel. That's how Shelbyville was built.”

Colvin said he'll probably go to the public workshop on Tuesday.

“I want to see what they want in this area,” he said. “Shelbyville is a nice little town. It's grown a great deal since I came in 33 years ago.”

Libke said the city could do the same thing in this area that it has been doing for years, but he wants people to be creative.

“Think outside of the box,” he said.