Another renovation proposed for City Market

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Indianapolis officials are planning a $2.7 million renovation of the downtown City Market in hopes of drawing more people to the building that dates to the 1880s.

The market's board presented plans Wednesday for an overhaul that would add vendor stands, restrooms and elevators. The plan is to then add daily live music and entertainment, attract a brewery and extend hours into the evening.

Board President Wayne Schmidt says the project is part of an effort to revive the market and give it more vibrancy.

Plans are to start construction work in August, with completion next spring. The market is to remain open during the project, with no work taking place during lunch hours.

Founded in 1886 and located just north of the City-County Building at Delaware and Alabama streets, City Market has long been a lunchtime institution downtown. But its business has endured a slow, steady slide for decades as its customers moved to the suburbs.

In recent years, City Market’s problems were exacerbated by the demolition of Market Square Arena, former home of the Indiana Pacers, immediately to its east. The market’s east wing, which had connected it to the arena, is now nearly vacant. Its west wing also is underused.

Indianapolis spent $2.7 million three years ago to renovate City Market’s historic main hall, but the overhaul has done little to boost business.


  • What this town needs is..
    What would be nice is a place where you can get a beer and a sandwich and not have it cost an arm and a leg. The Marsh nearby serves up a helluva sandwich for $5, I know.
  • The Last Renovation
    The Market looked much more inviting before the last Renovation.
    The current Renovation, which added the Grey steel canopies to the booths and stark lighting, made the market look very Techno Trash.
    It would be nice to see the old period globe lights (added in the 70's) reinstalled and the Grey "Crap" go away.
    When you sit upstairs all you see is Grey Steel GARBAGE .... Uuuugly!
    Prior to the last renovation I used to go to the market 3 to 5 times a week for lunch ...for YEARS... after the renovation I found the look of the Market was "Cold" lacking personality.... and the new booths a bit too Fancy ..... so I gravitated away as many diehard Market lunch goers did.
    The only good improvement from the last renovation was new mechanical infrastructure ..... which anyone who patrionized the market could see was very badly needed

    The Market needs its Warm Personality Back ....
  • Cash Only?
    If all of the vendors there accepted debit cards I might eat there more often. Its a pain when you don't have cash on you and half of the vendors have signs up that say "CASH ONLY"
  • Can you say...
    $5.4 million down a rathole. Admit defeat, and move on. We need other infrastructure (buses and libraries) much worse than we need City Market to "succeed".

    When and if the residential projects east of Alabama St. happen, then there will be a reason and real demand to have a true City Market open. Until then, let's just consolidate all the activity in the main hall and limp along as a lunchtime food court.

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