Carmel’s Midtown Plaza opens Friday; Chuy’s and Cake Bake Shop coming in July

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The Midtown Plaza in Carmel will open to the public Friday, the city announced late Tuesday.  

The plaza, which features outdoor ping-pong and pool tables, cornhole and big-screen entertainment, is part of a $23 million city project to enhance the Monon Greenway through the heart of the city.

The public plaza is located along the Monon Greenway in the center of Midtown, south of the Sun King Spirits distillery and food hall.

The green plaza, with plenty of benches, tables and swings, is intended to be an interactive play area for kids and adults.

In addition to building the plaza, Carmel has expanded the Monon from 12 feet wide to 140 feet wide from the Arts and Design District through Midtown. The trail itself has been widened to 54 feet, enough width for separate paths for bicyclists and pedestrians and green space on both sides. The trail area is bordered on both sides by 10-foot, one-way roads that are wide enough to accommodate for street parking.

Friday’s celebration begins at 4:30 p.m. with remarks from city officials. Live music will be played until 7 p.m., and the first 200 attendees will receive a commemorative picnic blanket, the city said in a news release.

The project was paid for with funds from a bond issued by the Carmel City Council in 2016. The plan to expand the greenway was announced in February 2017, and construction of the plaza has been ongoing for months. The plaza was designed by CrossRoad Engineers and Rundell Ernstberger Associates.

Updates from other previously reported Hamilton and Boone county projects include:

The Cake Bake Shop at Carmel City Center is expected to open in July. Owner Gwendolyn Rogers now plans to hire 150 people, as the Carmel location includes production space where Cake Bake goodies will be prepared and shipped. Originally, the store was expected to open last fall, but construction delays pushed back the date.

— The new Chuy’s in Carmel is also expected to open in July. The Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant, which has a sister location at Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville, will open at 10325 N. Michigan Road in space previously occupied by an Applebee’s. The restaurant plans to hire 140 full- and part-time employees, including kitchen staff, hosts, servers, bussers and bartenders. “We are thrilled to open our second central Indiana restaurant in Carmel and look forward to being a part of this great community,” Russell Burns, operating manager for Chuy’s in Carmel, said in a written statement.

— Plans to build Little League’s Central Region headquarters in Whitestown are moving forward. The Whitestown Plan Commission last week approved concept and development plans for the project. Originally planned for Zionsville, the project was moved to neighboring Whitestown after meeting opposition from some Zionsville residents. The project has sailed through the public process in Whitestown, where it will be part of a larger redevelopment project on a site that formerly housed the  Wreck’s Inc. automobile junkyard. Little League will construct four buildings and two fields on about 15 acres near Interstate 65.

PTS Diagnostics in Whitestown opened for business Monday. The medical-device firm built a $26 million global headquarters at 4921 E. County Road 450 South in the AllPoints at Anson business park. The new facility will allow the business to grow. PTS will relocate the 150 employees who currently work at its Indianapolis facility and plans to hire an additional 50-70 employees over the next five years. An official ribbon cutting is planned for next month

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