INDIANAPOLIS – An appraiser’s appraisal of the City Market’s infrastructure has a multi-million dollar price tag for the refurbishment and renovation of the 135-year-old building that serves as a cultural anchor in the Market East District of downtown.

“The assessment clearly shows the building needs improvement and maintenance,” said Scarlett Andrews Martin, director of Metropolitan Development, investing approximately $ 5 million in structural integrity and access to the building and improvements to the building itself. “

The City Market Board received the consultant’s report on Thursday afternoon as it struggles to develop a strategy for the location.

“There are some key things that need to be done in terms of plumbing, electrical, some points on the bricks, and some improvements to the windows,” said Andrews Martin. “The building is solid; it is actually in really good condition. “

The report also includes some general suggestions to make better use of the marketplaces and to redesign its core mission and operations at a cost of up to $ 25 million.

“The study shows a lot of great ideas about how to use the squares, how to use the alley, some possible accompanying uses, ideas about how the West Plaza might be a beer garden, or the new Tomlinson Tap, or restaurant rooms have and have activation of this square and some ideas about the East Plaza such as places where families can come, a children’s playground or a climbing wall and some ideas for private re-use of the East Plaza. “

Andrews Martin said the key to the Market’s success is evolving from its recent history as a lunch spot for downtown workers and visitors to a location that focuses on the needs of residents that city planners suspect they may have over the years Market East District pull will come.

The city market lacks the strategic plan for the coming year

“There are still some things missing in terms of density, we have some opportunities to occupy some apartments in this district, and then, I think, we are looking specifically for this property for adjacent market uses of the city market, which adjacent uses would help you Staying there longer, or coming for a reason that you are not coming, or if you had kids and there was a play area you would come with your kids and have a coffee or lunch at the market. “

The future of the City Market is tied to as yet undefined plans for the immediate vicinity of the City County Building on Alabama and Washington Streets.

With the opening of the Community Justice Center in the Twin Aire neighborhood on the east side just weeks away and the relocation of the Marion County Courts, Sheriff’s Office and Prison, the east end of downtown becomes even more desolate than the few workers who worked in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have seeped back into the core of the city are on the verge of disappearing permanently.

The city has already requested ideas from developers for the future of the 25-story City County Building and its two wings, one of which houses the courts and the other houses the IMPD headquarters and some courtrooms.

Several courts in the CCB Center Tower are also moving to the new CJC.

During a briefing with reporters on Wednesday morning, City Controller Ken Clark first hinted that low-income homes, as well as homes at market prices, could be located in the wings of the CCB as part of the sought-after developer plans, the first of the year.

Andrews Martin said investing more in the redesign of the City Market, as well as anticipating development plans for not just the CCB complex, but the soon-to-be-abandoned Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Prison across Washington Street, as well as a recently announced valuation cap for a possible renovation of the Old City Hall two blocks north on Alabama Street at $ 54 million, indicating a significant commitment by the city to transform a corner of downtown that was previously dedicated to local government offices into a more resident-friendly environment the market in the center.

“It could be so much more and I think that’s our goal and how can we use all these pieces to get more people to live in this area, shop in this area, eat in this area, have fun enjoying yourself downtown? ”she said. “We think that investing now and the actual five million in the structural integrity of the building and investing in future places in partnership with the strategic planning market is a way to get to a point where we are do not have to subsidize operationally, but we activate uses of the entire site that actually directly and indirectly support the income for the market. “

The market is expected to run into a deficit of $ 100,000 this year and, as it has for several years, plans to return to the borough council before the end of 2021 for further funding to offset its books.

During a briefing with reporters, Mayor Joe Hogsett said the projected deficit, which is more than in previous years but significantly less than the potential $ 250,000 in red ink that the City Market Finance Committee estimated this spring, is a “good thing”.

The proposed budget of the market is nearly $ 900,000 for 2022, with nearly a third subsidized by the city and $ 120,000 for annual maintenance.

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Andrews Martin said the intent is to complete the first round of infrastructure upgrades without closing the market.

A longtime saleswoman, Brenda Barrett of Jack’s Barber Shop, told the board that current tenants must do their part to stay open longer and on weekends to cater to an already changing clientele.

“People have to get on, otherwise they won’t have a business there,” she said.

CEO Michael Solari told CBS4 News that the advisor’s report now paves the way for the board to conduct its own strategic planning, which it hopes will set priorities and directions within a year.

The presentation of the consultant’s assessment now offers the City Market Board the opportunity to promote fundraising in order to commission its own consultant to lead a stakeholder survey.

The board meets again at the end of October.

Public Works Director Dan Parker told Mayor Hogsett on Wednesday that he expects the rebuilding of Market Street between the CCB and the market, which has isolated the market and made it a challenge for visitors, to be completed by the end of the year will.


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