Market Street in City Market finally opens

The site of the Indianapolis City Market was designated an outdoor market 200 years ago. Since then, city officials say, the roadway leading to its gates had never been completely redone.

This newly reconstructed stretch of East Market Street between the City Market and the City-County building opened to the public on Friday, after a 15-month shutdown that, with a pandemic on, looked more like years.

“You’ve been asking for this day for about two years,” Department of Public Works director Dan Parker joked to Mayor Joe Hogsett before picking up a microphone and thanking a list of partners for the $ 8 million project.

Read: The history of City Market is a cycle of love, decadence and rescue

Supply chain issues, other challenges are delaying the project

What was initially billed in 2019 as an 8-month project became almost twice as long and started around 6 months later than originally planned, due to supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic, as well as challenges. to move old utility lines that have been on the historic streets for centuries, Parker said.

But the end result is a colorful brick street with raised crosswalks, curbs to make those passages narrower and safer, visitor disembarkation points for vehicles, and bicycle parking.

“Today, a historic city block found its way back to better shape than ever,” Hogsett said. “I know some people’s patience has worn off, but days like today we see what patience looks like: a transformation and a better, more accessible downtown.”

New tenants at the City Market

This is also good news for City Market tenants. The pandemic has already ravaged business, and then, “construction didn’t help,” said Keisha Harrison, executive director of the market.

A dozen tenants have left and the market ended the year with a deficit of $ 90,000, which the city is covering.

Read: City Market struggles to stay afloat with challenges far beyond the pandemic

But the market welcomed four new sellers, two of which were open; one opens on Saturday and the other in 2022. The Original Farmers Market, open Wednesdays from May to October and which moved to Monument Circle during construction, will return to the City Market next season.

Those salespeople who hung on, she said, “they patiently waited to serve you year round.”

This is the first completed part of a larger vision for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the four rays starting from the center of Monument Circle. The rehabilitation of West Market Street between Illinois Avenue and Meridian Street is underway.

Planned future work

More investments are coming to the city market. The Metropolitan Development Department will inject $ 5 million into decades of deferred maintenance issues in the building, Hogsett said. There will also be an announcement in 2022 on mixed-use and housing development plans in the east wing of City Market, he said.

In the fall, DMD commissioned a study on how to repair and improve the city market with indoor and outdoor play areas, private dining rooms, windows for traders, and more. In addition to the roughly $ 5 million in urgent infrastructure needs, these other additions could add up to $ 30 million.

Details: Climbing wall, play area among the improvements suggested for the city market

This project, said the chairman of the county town council, Vop Osili, not only invigorates a historic center, but reflects a desire to create more multimodal and pedestrian-friendly spaces in the city.

“It reflects both our past and our future in the heart of Indianapolis,” he said.

Contact Kayla Dwyer, IndyStar Transportation Reporter, at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @ kayla_dwyer17.

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