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.