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YMCA, bike hub on track for City Market

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A bike hub and YMCA set to occupy the east wing of Indianapolis City Market should be open by early September.

YMCA officials said Monday morning that the hub, which will feature a bike shop operated by Bicycle Garage Indy, is slated to open sometime next month. A date of Sept. 7 has been set for the unveiling of the new YMCA.

The YMCA and bike hub are part of a $3.5 million renovation project of the historic facility that began last year.

“The opening of the Indy Bike Hub YMCA ties in with one of the Y’s long-range vision goals [for Indianapolis] to be one of the top 10 healthiest cities by 2025,” Eric Ellsworth, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, said in a prepared statement.

The local organization will operate and manage the facility, including the bike hub, which will offer secure indoor bike parking, a locker room, showers and full-service bicycle shop.

By offering parking and showers in the same location, supporters of the project hope the convenience will entice more downtown workers to bike to work.

“Providing a central location for bicycle commuters to park their bicycles and be able to meet and connect with each other will be a catalyst for Indianapolis to be regarded as a progressive community that will attract employers and employees,” said Randy Clark, president and founder of Bicycle Garage Indy, in a prepared statement.

Parking will be available for 148 bicycles, and free towel service will be available. The bicycle shop will offer service, repairs and accessories, as well as bike rentals.

Bicycle Indiana, a statewide advocacy group, and IndyCog, an Indianapolis-based advocacy group, will have offices in the renovated wing.  

The YMCA’s wellness center will include multipurpose rooms in which aerobics, cycling, clinics and other exercise classes will be offered, as well as a Wi-Fi lounge.

“We’re just excited to have that east wing put to, what I consider, a perfect use,” said Jim Reilly, the building’s executive director. “We’re all in favor of it.”

The renovation is also adding new lighting, rest rooms and vendor stands to the market's main hall.

What remains unclear, however, is the future of the west wing. A group of potential tenants is interested in occupying the space, which was slated for demolition as part of the overall renovation.

But the local office of the Washington, D.C.-based Local Initiatives Support Corp., a not-for-profit, submitted a proposal to market directors to lease space in the wing. Under the proposal, other tenants would include the Indiana and Indianapolis chapters of the American Institute of Architects, as well as the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development.

The plan is to create a community design center with groups that support neighborhood development, LISC Executive Director Bill Taft said in June, when the plan was announced.

Market directors could vote on the plan at their next meeting on Thursday.

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