A former flea market at the southwest corner of Washington Street and Post Road has found new life as W Street Shopping Center, which houses more than two dozen small retail shops under one roof.
W Street’s grand opening is Saturday.
The building at 8949 E. Washington St. also houses Indy Discount Flooring as well as an electrical salvage business, both operated by Bruce Paddack. He bought the building in April as a home base for Integrity Electric, which salvages, refurbishes and resells electrical equipment.
But the building, which occupies just over 60,000 square feet, was bigger than Paddack needed. So he’s turned over about a third of the space to his son, Caleb Paddack, who’s developed it into W Street.
W Street includes 27 small retail spaces, some of them occupying less than 400 square feet. Each of the spaces opens onto an interior corridor. All but one of the spaces have been leased.
Caleb Paddack said one of his goals is to offer an affordable way for local entrepreneurs to run their own shops. Rent is $1 per square foot, and utilities are included with rent. Internet service and security cameras are available for additional fees.
Among the tenants is Antoinett Nelson, whose Blow Ur Mind Party Bar sells balloons and balloon structures, gift baskets, and party-planning services. The shop occupies a 325-square-foot space at W Street.
Blow Ur Mind is a new business, and Nelson said she liked the idea of being in a multi-tenant space because of the synergy it will create. “It’s a good way to market your stuff. Someone’s always going to be coming in and out.”
Other tenants include Higher Life Cereal Café, an eatery focused on cold cereal; Higher Life CBD Dispensary; Athena’s Fashion Boutique; Indy Vintage; Décor by Dannie, a painting party studio; Twenty5Eight clothing store; Girls Glam Party Boutique; E.C. Collectibles; Photos by Hoskins; and a game arcade, men’s and women’s clothing shops and shoe stores, among others.
“I just wanted to offer that part of town a little bit higher end shopping experience, without it being so high-end that it didn’t feel approachable for that side of town,” said Caleb Paddack, 29, an east-side resident.
All of the tenants have signed one-year leases, he said, which is designed to give the shops more permanence than what they’re replacing. The building formerly housed Liberty Bell Carpet & Flea Market. Caleb Paddack said some of the flea market’s vendors came and went so quickly that customers couldn’t always find them later if they had a problem with a purchase.
In October 2014, Indiana State Excise Police officers seized more than $500,000 in suspected counterfeit items from the flea market. By 2016, it had closed.
If W Street is successful, Bruce Paddack said, he’s open to giving up some of Integrity Electric’s square footage so that the retail venture can add additional vendor spaces.
In other news this week:
— Fish-and-chips restaurant The Harbour, yoga studio YogaSix and Witch Hazel Salon have joined the roster of tenants at the Bottleworks District development at 850 Massachusetts Ave.
The Harbour is modeled after traditional British fish-and-chips restaurants. Its menu will include breaded and battered fish, shrimp, calamari, sausage, haggis and fritters. It will also sell international candies. Owner is Stuart Robertson, who also owns MacNiven’s Restaurant & Bar at 330 Massachusetts Ave.
YogaSix is an Irvine, California-based chain of franchised yoga studios. The company, founded in 2012, also has a studio in Carmel.
Witch Hazel Salon will be relocating to Bottleworks from 874 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square. The salon’s owners are Sarah Moscato-Goodpaster, Mel Moss and Kelsey McColm.
The 12-acre, $300 million mixed-use development is to include a food hall, 175,000 square feet of retail space, residential options, a boutique hotel and 180,000 square feet of flexible office space.
Part of the development is expected to open as early as June, with the hotel and food hall slated to open in October or later in the year.
— Speaking of Bottleworks: the gift shop Pumkinfish, which plans to take a 500-square-foot space in the development’s food hall, has closed its original location at 429 Massachusetts Ave. The shop’s last day of business was in mid-January.
Owner Will Acton told IBJ the store is taking a few months off before reopening at Bottleworks.
— Several food-court tenants have recently closed at Circle Centre mall: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, West Coast Poke and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.
A spokesperson for Morristown, New Jersey-based Villa Fresh said the Circle Centre location closed Sunday after 13 years at the mall. It’s unclear when Auntie Anne’s and West Coast Poke closed.
Auntie Anne’s occupied a kiosk on the second floor of Circle Centre, while Villa Fresh and West Coast Poke were on the third floor.