Part of City Market renovation project put on hold

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City planners have scaled back renovation plans at the Indianapolis City Market to meet their budget, but they hope to find more money down the road.

A portion of the $2.7 million renovation has been put on hold because bids for the project came in too high, city officials said Wednesday.

City leaders likely will wait until next year—if they can find more money—to demolish the building’s west wing. The demolition is a key component of a makeover designed to help rejuvenate the financially struggling downtown venue.

The handful of food vendors in that wing still will move into the market’s main hall, said Jim Reilly, the facility’s executive director. He hopes the city will find additional money to tear down the wing—or find someone to occupy it—by the time the other renovations are completed in late spring or early summer. But, so far, it’s unclear whether that will happen.

Other changes, including new lighting, restrooms and vendor stands, are expected to get underway by Dec. 1 in the market's main hall, said Wendy Cooper, a senior project manager with the Department of Metropolitan Development. On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Development Commission awarded a $2.2 million contract to Fishers-based Terstep Co. Inc. for those services.

The project also includes $500,000 for engineering and architectural services on the main hall renovations.

Bids for the main hall came in about $700,000 over the $2.7 million estimate. The city considered putting the project out for bid again when the proposals came in above budget, but officials determined soliciting new bids wouldn’t produce enough savings. In addition to putting off the west wing demolition, the city will forgo installing tile on the market's second floor and adding a basement freezer. 

City officials say those amendments aren't expected to hurt the overall project.

“We could still revitalize the City Market without demolishing the west wing,” said Molly Deuberry, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Works. “But let’s get the building done so we can have the kind of revival that everybody wants.”

John Cochran, Mayor Greg Ballard’s special counsel, who has worked on the project, said the city hopes to find money for the demolition within the next year, but has not yet determined how to pay for it. Once the vendors from that wing move into the main hall, the area will sit vacant.

While Reilly is eager to see change in the west wing, he said delaying the demolition is a better option than putting off the entire renovation.

“It’s more important we get renovations started on the inside as quickly as possible,” Reilly said, noting the new vendors and bar opening at the market this month. “It’s going to be a period of a lot of activity out here.”

Another $800,000 has been set aside for a separate project to turn the market’s east wing into a bicycle hub.


  • gross
    Well if the bike hub is gross then that will be a sad waste of city resources, hopefully the concept can be pulled off in an acceptable fashion. Many other cities have developed similar facilities that have turned out successful. I think it is too soon to write off Indy's chances of achieving the same goal until we learn more details, like whether or not there will be user fees and how the city plans to police the facility.
  • city market
    See the articleand comments.
  • Bicycle Hub?
    Mass Transit, are you kidding? You're going to use a public shower facility which inevitably will become a haven for the homeless. I ride a bike to work and I would go nowhere near that facility. Major gross.
  • GOP special price to its "blind supporters"
    Over priced? It seems that these bidders thought that they would have a easy push after putting money in the GOP pockets. With Ballard wanting to sell off all the city assets, they just could not wait. Well I think there is change coming. Once the new procesuitor gets in and sends the crooks to jail, and the sheriff cleans up the merrit board, well things may begin to look like city government
  • Here we go again....
    So MDC awarded a $2.2 Million Contract to a Corporation that does not legally exist in the State of Indiana according to the Indiana Secretary of State?

    The Secretary of State only reflects:
    TERSTEP COMPANY INC II (inked up in 1973) as a legally existing corporation.

    Francesca, can you make sure the 180 hitters at City Hall know who they are contracting with, who has the insurance, who has the bond...

    Also who is the Owners' Representative on this Project? Someone at City Hall is managing this? What is their experience. The Owners Representative Contract should be done before you hire a Architect, Engineer or GC?

    Anyone wonder why this is delayed and overbudget...

    Basic blocking and tackling in commercial contruction...

    Why so heavy on A & E? I agree there is way too much FAT in that number.

    They should have hired Duke as the Owners Rep... I doubt anyone at City Hall has the requisite background to properly manage this.

  • Better Solutions
    I have worked downtown for over ten years. I used to enjoy eating lunch at the Market, but in the grand scheme to reinvent it, they have managed to drive away the majority of the customer base. If I want to pay $8.00 for lunch=I'll go anywhere else except the Market. It's overprices, dirty and depressing. Quit trying to be "unique" to downtown-that does not work. Try letting fastfood vendors have a chance to open kiosks. And lastly, why would they want to tear down a place they keep trying to reinvent? Are the developers the same people that handled the library?
  • Complete Incompetent Boobs at City Hall
    Yea those soft costs are off the chart... What a crime.
  • bike hub
    When will construction begin on the bicycle hub? I am ready to ride my bike to work and have a usable shower facility at my disposal.

    I am also looking forward to the new bar opening here, hopefully it can attract people to a part of town that usually dies around 5pm.
  • Good Contractor
    Good thing they hired a competent general contractor to perform the work. At least they got that right.
  • What??
    $500k engineering and architectural fees on $2.7M construction cost is way outta whack with commercial/retail space professional service fees. Somebody needs to pass a red-face test!
    • Budget much?
      How do bids come in 25% over budget in an economy like the one we're in? Seriously? How much tax money is wasted when projects blow their budgets? Who was the architect? Was there a construction manager? Will they refund the wasted tax dollars spent on their fees?
    • More teardowns?
      I agree with rwh, why spend money to tear down a somewhat useable space. I agree with using the bulk of the funds for the renovation of the main hall, but why not lease the west wing for some alternative use. Think about the hole that will be left if the west wing is demo'ed right next to the infamous hole...I mean parking lot, where MSA used to stand.
    • Yes Demo
      Those wings are horrible. They should both come down. They're horribly designed and harm the accessibility of the center market building. They're some of the most pedestrian-repelling structures I've ever seen. They're giant blank brick facades with tiny, hard to find or non-existent entrances. Not only that, the structures also turn inward, making it even harder access the market. Whoever designed them was not concerned with making the Market a welcoming, easy to navigate facility.

      The new wing will actully embrace Delaware and Market at the pedestrian level and invite people into the market, not repel them.
    • No Demo
      It seems crazy to be tearing down the west wing of the market. What a waste. The plan needs to be changed to include this space. We are always tearing down buildings that still could be utilized. I think the City needs to find a use for this portion of the market to keep it in place. Maybe some good will come out of this to buy more time.

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