After almost 20 years of being home to a gardening and landscaping center, the property at 802 N. Ridge Road is going to become a car lot.
Dennis and Danielle Sanders have purchased the approximately four acres and plan to move their offices there along with their Car-Smart and U.S.A. Hail businesses.
“We’re from the west side, and so we wanted to move closer to home,” Dennis Sanders says.
Car-Smart currently is at 4400 S. Broadway.
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Johnson’s Garden Centers had been doing business at the Ridge Road property until late last year.
Owner Marty Johnson and his brother, Linden, bought the property together in 1997. In 2007, Linden Johnson incorporated his Johnson’s Legacy Landscapes, which had been a division of the garden center. It remained at the garden center, and Marty Johnson began leasing the space for his store from his brother.
In 2012, Linden Johnson bought 4.6 acres at the southwest corner of 61st and North Ridge Road with the intention of moving his business there. That’s finally going to happen after the spring planting season.
For now, he’s still operating out of the Ridge Road property.
“It’s a great little piece of property, but … we don’t do any retail to speak of, so we really don’t need the drive-by and the convenience of that,” Linden Johnson says.
He tried to auction the property last fall, but that was unsuccessful.
“We had just kind of decided that we would just stay there,” Linden Johnson says.
He says he figured he wouldn’t have a full garden center but could sell annuals in the spring along with landscape supplies and merchandise such as flagstones and boulders.
“That was kind of the direction we were going.”
Then Sanders approached him, Linden Johnson says.
In addition to his hail repair business and car business, which will have about 20 vehicles on the new lot, Sanders says he has a number of rental properties and will handle that business on one of a couple of buildings on his new property.
Linden Johnson says he hopes to be fully operational at his new property by the beginning of September.
“It was kind of an overgrown mess when we bought it,” he says.
“We’ve … got it all cleaned up.”