Indianapolis City Market to close for renovations in 2024
City Market to close in 2024 for renovations
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis City Market will close in 2024 for renovations and reopen under private management when renovations are complete.
There is no word on when the construction on the market will start or when the vendors that remain in the market will have to be out to allow construction to start.
Construction will be done in multiple phases. The city said it will share more details about the first phase of construction in the coming months.
A spokesperson for the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development issued a statement to News 8 that said, in part, “As construction and development timelines begin to formalize, we will share them with vendors and partners.”
When the market reopens it will be operated by a private group. That group will be selected by the Indianapolis City Market Corp. and project developers Gershman Partners and Citimark at a later date.
The City Market is at 222 E. Market St., just a couple blocks east of Monument Circle and across the street from the City-County Building. The redevelopment will be part of a larger redevelopment of the Market East District. The city originally called for the redevelopment of just the east wing of City Market in 2022, but that grew into the current project managed by Gershman Partners and Citimark.
The Gershman Partners and Citimark will choose the new private operator for the market. That group will work in tandem with the city government to manage the market.
Plans include renovating the main part of the over-100-year-old building to benefit vendors and customers.
Market Square Center, popularly known as the Gold Building, just north of City Market at 151 N Delaware St., on the corner of Ohio Street and North Delaware Street, will be redeveloped from office space to 350 residential apartments. “Transparent, modern glass” will replace the gold-looking glass on the outside of the building. Construction on this building will be done in the first phase.
Up to 10% of the apartments will be affordable housing, according to Metropolitan Development.
An 11-story brick building at 251 E. Ohio Street, on the corner of Ohio Street and Alabama Street, will stay as an office building but will be upgraded from a Class C office building to Class A. The 220,000-square-foot building will get upgrades to its lobby, mechanical systems, and elevators.
Plans call for the construction of a new 11-story apartment tower to the south of 251 E. Ohio St., where the City Market East Wing sits. That will be demolished at a later date to allow construction to start on the new mixed-use building. Up to 10% of these apartments will be affordable housing as well.
“The building will include 60 multifamily units, 8,000 square feet of office space, and 22,000 square feet of retail space,” according to a Metropolitan Development fact sheet shared with News 8. “This part of the project includes expanding the main City Market building with the construction of a 10,500-square-foot glass enclosure on the plaza along East Market Street.”
The city government plans to have more details about the development of the West Wing in the coming months.
“Improvements to the parking garage adjacent to the office building, including $4 million in ongoing repairs to mechanical systems and elevators, and improved lighting,” according to the same Metropolitan Development fact sheet. “The project will also include new exterior decorative screening on some of the building’s facades and new public art along Wabash Alley. The 530-space garage will serve office and residential users in the block.”
In addition, Wabash Alley, which runs between the market and the Gold Building, parking garage, and brick office space, will be converted into “pedestrian-only pathways to connect more people with City Market and offer new spaces for local designers,” according to the fact sheet.
Funding for the project is coming from a few sources and has been gathered over the last two years according to Metropolitan Development. A total of $5 million will come from Metropolitan Development Commission-approved funding in 2021. An additional $12 million will come from Circle City Forward funding in 2022 for West Plaza, Market House, Wabash Alley, and the catacombs found under the market. In February 2023, the City-County Council approved $18.8 million in tax-increment finance funding for the project. This funding is already secured and not tied to the 2024 City-County budget. Much of this passed in February 2023 but plans started as early as 2022 according to the city.
The City Market also gets $478,000 in annual funding from Metropolitan Development each year.
Vendors and others concerned
News 8 spoke to a City Market vendor and other interested parties about the plans. Many are concerned with the lack of communication about the project and what a shutdown could mean for their business.
The City Market has seen a decrease in foot traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement of the court system to the Community Justice Center on the city’s east side.
A Metropolitan Development spokesperson said, “As a part of any temporary shutdown, the current City Market merchants would receive notice of timing months in advance as well as an opportunity to share their specific needs relative to the future of the City Market Campus.”
The Indianapolis City Market Corp. will shift away from managing the market and move toward the goal of being a mission-based organization with food access as a primary concern.
DuWuan Finley, the owner of Chef Wuan’s Kitchen, is concerned that private management will not be good for him as a vendor.
“I think just having the city run it might be better,” Finley said. “But again I don’t know who the company is and what their values are.”
Finley said something needs to be done to support vendors. He suggested more marketing to let potential customers know City Market is still open.
Jefferson Shreve, the Republican candidate for Indianapolis mayor in the November election, said he would not have let City Market fall into such a state of disrepair.
“The state that it’s fallen into today is not a post-COVID problem,” Shreve said. “This is a management problem. This is a huge problem. And we just have to do better.”
“In 2022, we called for redevelopment of the east wing of the City Market – what was selected was a much more ambitious and complex project that will strengthen the City Market Campus as a live, work, and play district in Market East. In partnership with Gershman Partners and Citimark, we’ve embarked on a development that includes over 400 housing units, pedestrian-focused infrastructure, public space upgrades, and structural and operational improvements to the historic market house.
“To further catalyze the project, over the last two years, the Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC) and Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved $5 million and $12 million, respectively, to energize the campus in addition to the $18.8 million in developer-backed TIF funding for the north campus. This allows us to think boldly with our partners at the City Market Corporation, to strengthen the City Market Campus and its operations into its next era for Indianapolis residents, neighbors, and visitors.
“Only after the recent decision to seek a build-operate-transfer (BOT) procurement partner in 2023 did a closure window become apparent. As construction and development timelines begin to formalize, we will share them with vendors and partners. As a part of any temporary shutdown, the current City Market merchants would receive notice of timing months in advance as well as an opportunity to share their specific needs relative to the future of the City Market Campus.
“City Market Campus breakdown
“◉ Annual City funding for City Market from the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development: $478,000
“◉ City Market TIF funding in Feb 2023: $18.8 Million
“◉ Circle City Forward funding in 2022 for West Plaza, Market House, Alley, catacombs: $12 million
“◉ Metropolitan Development Commission approved funding in 2021: $5 million”
City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development spokesperson