Meet the Fritz of Fishers
Talking with the “Fritz in Fishers” at his office across from the Fishers Town Hall takes you back 20 years to when Fishers was nothing more than a railroad crossing on a two-lane road. It also takes you back to the original administrative offices and town hall for the town of Fishers.
Fritz Kreutzinger got his start in the car business when he was younger working at his dad’s gas stations and garages on the west side of Indianapolis. “I always liked working on cars, fixing them up, and selling them. When I got out of school at Purdue, most kids were lucky to make $1,000 a month in those days. I started selling cars right out of school and made $1,000 my first week,” he smiled. “Of course, the next month I didn’t make anything, but that wasn’t my last lesson in economics.”
He later started working at Butler Automotive Group at 96th and Keystone where he learned the ins and outs of the retail and wholesale car business. After three years, he left to start his own auto sales business in downtown Fishers.
“I bought this little house across the street back in the early 80’s and started selling cars out of the front yard,” Fritz recalls. “I got a letter from the building commissioner (Rodney Jones) about a year later telling me I was violating a zoning ordinance, needed to pave my lot, move my cars off 116th Street, and take down my sign.”
As time went by, Fritz mended fences with the town employees and developed a good friendship with his municipal neighbors. In 1993, the Town of Fishers was looking to build a larger building to house the expanding government offices. Fritz was eyeing their property as well from across the street.
“They wanted my property and I wanted theirs, so we just did a land swap,” Fritz describes. The land deal netted Fritz the administrative office building which is now his used auto dealership office, the Fishers Municipal Building which is now leased to Gallery 116, and access to his next purchase which was the Manship farm adjacent to both buildings.
His land dealings did not stop there. Fritz went on to purchase property on the east side of the railroad tracks as well. Today, he has leasehold interest in 24 downtown Fishers businesses, primarily on the south side of 116th Street off of South Street and Lantern Road.
“I wanted to get into something that I didn’t know much about,” Fritz explained. “I knew that these homes and land would be a good investment someday and I had always wanted to recondition old buildings. I just like to tinker with stuff, work on cars, and fix things up.”
Fritz’s latest remodeling project is the Ambassador House where he was recently appointed President. “People should start seeing a lot of activity on the House this summer,” he said as he pointed to a color illustration of the Ambassador House on his office wall. “It will add a lot to our community and be a beautiful place to showcase Fishers’ history.”
Through his business connections and long-time dealings with the Town of Fishers, Fritz has become an evangelist of sorts.
For the downtown district of Fishers, Fritz serves on the Town Center Review Committee with six other Town Council appointed residents and business owners.
For the auto business, Fritz is the Vice President and lobbyist for the Indiana Independent Auto Dealers Association.
For the Town of Fishers, Fritz is a local icon that always picks up the phone when called on for help. Whether it is Big Brothers, Boy Scouts, Fishers Freedom Festival, or sponsoring a little league team, Fritz always steps up to do his part in the local community.
While the Town of Fishers might have the municipal building with an elected Town Council, just across the street in the old Fishers Municipal Building resides the unofficial Mayor of Fishers advocating the preservation of Fishers’ history, and more importantly, memories.