Carrie Rengers

Johnson’s Garden Centers on Ridge Road to close for now

In summer 2012, Marty Johnson told Have You Heard? he may have to move his Ridge Road Johnson’s Garden Centers.

That’s what’s going to happen, but since he doesn’t have a new place picked out yet, the 20-year-old store is going to close for now.

“We’re looking at our options,” Johnson says.

“We’ll look for another location. … It just takes time.”

He’s been renting from his brother, Linden, who owns Johnson’s Legacy Landscapes.

The two had been in business together but split the businesses several years earlier. In part of that deal, Linden Johnson retained the property at 802 N. Ridge Road and his brother leased garden center space.

Then the landscaping business moved to 4.6 acres at the southwest corner of 61st Street and North Ridge Road in 2012. The garden center remained.

“We’ve just been kind of year by year,” Marty Johnson says of his lease.

His brother offered to sell him the property, but Marty Johnson declined. Nor does he want to pay what his brother is asking in rent.

“He needs to get a certain amount out of it to do what he wants to do up at 61st and Ridge,” Marty Johnson says.

He initially thought he’d remain open until spring but changed his mind.

A clearance sale is set to begin Nov. 6. At this point, it’s going to end Nov. 23, though that could change.

“We’ll still be around there, and we’ll have lawn care customers probably coming in,” Marty Johnson says. “As long as we’re there, we’ll accommodate people.”

He expects it will be a year before a replacement store opens, though if something works out more quickly, he says he’s open to it.

Two other Johnson’s Garden Centers – on West 13th and near 21st and Woodlawn – will remain open as will Johnson’s Landscape Distribution.

Johnson says an employee this week suggested giving customers maps to the original Johnson’s at 2707 W. 13th St.

“It’s like, are you kidding?” Johnson says, half laughing.

“Hopefully we’ll … pick up some customers there.”

Like other businesses that have scaled down their footprints – such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell – Johnson says his new store will be smaller than the four acres he now has.

He definitely wants to reopen, though.

“Certainly with three locations, there are some economies of scale that we’re going to miss.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.