City christens Market East cultural district downtown

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Indianapolis officials on Wednesday christened a new downtown cultural district that plays off the history of the City Market and anticipates new development on and around the former site of Market Square Arena.

The newly dubbed Market East District is roughly 14 square blocks bordered by Alabama and East streets to the west and east, respectively; New York Street on the north; and CSX train tracks to the south.

City leaders anticipate Market East will over time become a cultural focal point similar to that of the existing cultural districts: Broad Ripple Village, The Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave and Wholesale District.

The area is in the midst of a major redevelopment boom. Projects under way include:

— A $30 million global distribution headquarters for Cummins Inc. bounded by Market, Alabama, Washington and New Jersey streets.

— The $81 million Market Square Tower, a 28-story apartment development  north of Market Street and between Alabama and New Jersey streets.

— A $20 million transit hub for IndyGo bus routes, located on the south side of Washington Street between Delaware and Alabama streets.

— The $62 million Artistry apartment project at the former Bank One Operations Center at 451 E. Market St.

“Market East will be an area of architectural and urban planning excellence that will help Indy attract new people and companies to this thriving area of downtown,” said Mayor Greg Ballard at a Wednesday morning press conference.

The city also is launching a redesign contest for the deteriorating plaza at the City-County Building bordering Washington Street.

The competition will be funded by a $50,000 grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation through its Inspiring Places Initiative. Once a design is chosen, the city will begin seeking partners and funding for construction of the project.


  • union station
    Union Station in downtown Indianapolis needs Christmas themed stores , Christmas shows ,a huge miniature railroad village train set and circus shows.It also needs Christmas Themed carnival games,and high-tech video games. It needs train museum too.
  • Not a lie...
    It is not a lie. Indianapolis is TECHNICALLY a larger city than San Francisco. Not a larger MSA, not a denser city, not a more important city. But the city itself IS larger.
  • Wrench
    I agree with your sentiments exactly, especially the Vegas comment. Also, the it completely throws off the skyline. It's like there's downtown, and then there's this random blue box surrounded with what seems like miles between the two.
  • JW Mariott
    Someone mentioned the JW Mariott. That thing looks like we ripped it out of Vegas and plopped it in Indy. Can anyone find another hotel in the downtown of a major city that is as gaudy and takes up that much land area for the number of rooms it contains??
  • City size
    I have heard comments from many, many, many people saying that Indianapolis is larger than (Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Miami, St Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, etc.), just because our city proper population is larger. The lie is also repeated many, many times by our local media
  • Almost forgot
    Couple more things. How can "all the suburbs be counted in the city's population" when the metro area population is 2 million and the city is only 800,000? Where do the other 1.2 million people live? Carmel and Fishers have like 100,000 people each. *** Also, it's funny how you guys mention the city's "inflated" population. It's not inflated. Is New York's population inflated? They include many of their suburbs in their city population such as Staten Island, Queens, etc. Or is it only inflated when the city is smaller than Indianapolis, right? Cities are functions of geography and all these places can have completely different dynamics and ideologies. Everyone knows that there are many ways to measure a city's size but a city's borders are still it's borders regardless of what the metro area population is.
  • This is why the IBJ site gets tons of ad revenue
    Now you guys are just trolling. Who said Indianapolis was larger than San Francisco? This is why when people think of Indianapolis, they think of ignorant rural hicks. Some of you guys should go fill your gas tanks in Gary on a hot summer evening.
  • Market East?
    This is laughable. What would possibly make Market East a "city cultural area"? The City Market that is poorly attended and under utilized? An IndyGo hub to attract more loitering people (just look outside Chase Tower)? I'm all for the revitalization of downtown but nothing about the projected transit hub or distribution center suggests "culture". And maybe I'm crazy but at least the other designated cultural area have some type of unifying history. What's the signficance of 16 blocks of concrete parking lot? Sorry Indianapolis - projects like this will ensure fly-over status for a long time to come.
  • Indy
    Um...Tomfan a couple of facts. First, we are technically the 14th largest city. And yes, per Unigov, that includes the inner ring suburbs (essentially 90% of Marion County). It does not include anything outside of the county lines. Of course that also makes us one of the least dense cities in America. It is also why San francisco, though technically a smaller city by half, is so much larger. It's density is several orders of magnitude larger which makes it a much more important city. However Indy's MSA is ranked 33 and San Fran's is 11, so they aren't THAT much different. But then again I've never heard ANYONE claim that Indy was larger than the Bay area so I don't where you got that from. I agree with some of the other commenters, what's with all the bashing of your home? If you don't like it, move to San Fran.
  • @Tom
    Awesome comment, Tom. I love how people get on here and say "We're one of the 10 biggest cities in America!!!!" That's because all the suburbs are included in the city population. We're like the 40th biggest metro area. Does anybody here really think Indy is bigger than San Francisco bay area?
    • Chase Tower lies
      Yes, the Chase Tower is 811 feet, but only because that is counting the ugly roof and the cattle prod spires. The building itself is only 49 stories and 688 feet to the top floor. Its a very "Indianapolis" way of inflating things to make our city seem bigger (just like our population).
      • INDY
        My comment is... Indy needs taller buildings, why? Check out other cities of same size. We are behind. Indy also really needs to focus on interstate 65 & 70 through downtown. Focus on building a loop around dt. And why are those curves so sharp.?
      • umm...
        John, the tallest "sky scraper in Boston is 790 feet....last time I checked that was shorter than the Chase tower.
      • i beg to differ
        you have your facts wrong about Boston they have more skyscrapers than than Indy. Lets face it our skyline is skimpy at best. It lacks character. A city skyline draws you in and make you want to get to know the city. i have watched national broadcast from our city and there are no flattering shots of our skyline. Personally the best photos i have taken of our skyline are looking north from the south side.
      • i beg to differ
        you have your facts wrong about Boston they have more skyscrapers than than Indy. Lets face it our skyline is skimpy at best. It lacks character. A city skyline draws you in and make you want to get to know the city. i have watched national broadcast from our city and there are no flattering shots of our skyline. Personally the photos of oour skyline is looking north from the south side.
        • i beg to differ
          you have your facts wrong about boston they have they have skyscraper than than indy. Lets face it our skyline is skimpy at best. It lacks character. A city skyline draws you in and make you want to get to know the city.
        • Ugh
          At 811 feet the chase tower is one of the tallest buildings in the Midwest outside of Chicago (google it). Aside from that here are plenty of large cities that are not brimming with high rises and are doing just fine...Boston being one of them. Seriously, this negativity from some people is just tired. Have some pride in your home! At being said, a few new buildings hardly designates this as a "cultural district" in my mind.
        • buildings
          in indianapolis a 2 story building is a mid-rise and anything above 2 stories is a high-rise. get with it.
        • What skkyscraper?
          Somebody said there hasnt been a new skyscraper built in Indy sinc e1989. I am not aware of any skyscrapers in this city. Our tallest building only is like 40 stories and towers over evertying else
        • Forgot
          Forgot the city wants to ad a digital billboard across the street from the Athenaeum on the firehouse development. So one wonders why they can profess to able to approve anything of merit. The good news is the Cummins will finally add some needed class to Downtown Indy design.
        • Home Grown
          I'm with Maria, I will believe it when I see it. The Artistry apartments are aluminum siding and cement board. And the Athenaeum now has TWO racks(just added Bike Share) at it's front door and two trash receptacles. Visitor's will laugh at that site.
        • RE: Yeah
          Why are people so fixated on skyscrapers?? You do realize that there is much more to a city than the number of tall buildings it has. The way Indy is currently structured, there is no need for more skyscrapers. However, if we continue to develop our downtown to draw more people to live and work there, then perhaps in the next 4 or 5 years there will be a need for a new one. You can't just go building them just for the sake of building one. There has to be a need... and to say that there haven't been any significant developments downtown is just completely ignorant. Apparently you missed the brand new football stadium and the new 28-story apartment building about to go up. Those are both new, and significant. Now if you want do argue whether they are worth the investment or whatever argument people incessantly bring up, you might have some grounds to stand on. But otherwise, you do not.
        • forget something
          Did you forget about the JW Marriott? A lot of building has been going on downtown since the 2007-2009 recession. Even during the recession.
        • Except for the fact that
          Please. There hasn't been a new skyscraper built in the City since 1989. I think only Detroit and Buffalo are the only major cities that have gone longer without any significant development downtown. Nothing's going to change in that area except for the homeless hoods who wander in and out.
          • Maria...
            ... ... why are you so incessantly negative?
          • actions are louder than words
            “Market East will be an area of architectural and urban planning excellence..." I'll believe it when I see it. Nothing this administration has done would lead anyone to believe this quote.

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