Block outside City Market reopens after $8M reconstruction project

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The $8 million reconstruction of the Market Street block included a raised portion of roadway leading to the entrance of the City Market. (IBJ photo/Mason King)

A stretch of city street outside the Indianapolis City Market reopened Friday after an $8 million-plus reconstruction project that resulted in a street closure that lasted a year-and-a-half.

“I know some people’s patience has worn thin,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett at a news conference Friday. “But on days like today, we see what patience looks like: transformation, and a better and more accessible downtown.”

The announcement was greeted with relief from City Market leaders, who’ve lost operating revenue and several merchant-tenants to the construction on East Market Street between Delaware and Alabama streets, as well as to the pandemic-era loss of office worker clientele.

“Thanks to our stalwart tenants, who really endured a tough couple of years with everything that’s happened,” said City Market board member Greg Henneke. “Thanks for hanging with us, and we look forward to a bright future.”

That future involves more investment in the City Market.

The city is planning to cover the market’s $90,000 budget shortfall in 2021 with a grant or a loan, plus spend an initial $5 million for renovations of the east wing.

The East Market Street project consisted of street improvements, plus a raised pedestrian crossing between the City-County Building and the City Market; curb bump-outs to condense motorized traffic; visitor drop-off spaces; added bike parking; and a new pedestrian promenade and veranda in front of the Market Street entrance of the City-County Building.

The project was designed by CHA Consulting, Inc. and Rundell Ernstberger Associates, with White Construction serving as general contractor. HWC Engineering provided project inspection services.

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9 thoughts on “Block outside City Market reopens after $8M reconstruction project

  1. Seriously asking, not trying to be sarcastic, but why were all these improvements made, and dollars spent, in front of the City Market including “a raised pedestrian crossing between the City-County Building and the City Market” when the City-County building will be mainly vacate in two months with the continued opening of the new judicial campus and the City Market is mostly empty of vendors after two years of no business? They just asked for proposals on what the options for the City-County building could become earlier this fall, but I haven’t heard of any decisions being made?

    1. For what it’s worth the “raised pedestrian crossing” is really just a crosswalk that is slightly raised from the overall road surface. Like a speedbump to get people to slow down for the crosswalk. For the Market, it is definitely not full of vendors but is very close to full (maybe 4 or 5 vendor slots vacant out of more than 20ish stalls).

    2. Contributing factor could be that 30 feet away is the recent 150 million dollar project of Cummins HQ and 360 Market Square.

      Also having brand new infrastructure makes that city county building even more attractive to development. City market, though not as hip as some people want, to many is still a fixture of the city and worth preserving and improving.

      All that said, 8 million is not terribly large for reconstructing a downtown block, especially after as much neglect as our city has had over the century.

    3. The project involves issues of timing and planning for the future.

      These construction projects are planned years in advance and the contract was issued before the pandemic.

      The improvements were mostly for the benefit of the City Market, and regardless of how the City-County Building is used in the coming years, there needs to be good infrastructure in place to encourage redevelopment of that property. And, again, since the contract was issued before the pandemic, the City Market was not vacant at the time. Also, as with the City-County Building, the City Market needs to have good infrastructure in place to assist with any redevelopment plans.

    4. Also, to add what I said, Market Street is a major downtown street that was in terrible shape. So, even if it went past two empty parking lots, it would still need to have the infrastructure repaired. $8 million is a relatively small part of the city’s annual expenditures.

    5. The building that is now City Market has been around for like 150 years…just because it’s slow today doesn’t mean it’ll always be that way.

  2. Propping up the market has been an issue for over 30 years. Would seem like the value of the property and location would entice a sale to a private entity to develop. At least pre violent riot and crime problems affecting all of downtown.

    1. Donald, this is the same mindset that caused us to bulldoze half the architecture and history in the city….. Congrats on being part of the problem!

  3. I don’t have a comment other than to say I enjoyed reading all of the smart comments above. The IBJ has some really smart readers and I appreciate their comments.