INDIANAPOLIS — August 29 marks the day the former Lafayette Square Mall closed as extensive renovations are set to begin, turning it into Window to the World. Owned by Sojos Capital, once finished, the complex will be a mixed-use development.
Monday's closure starts Phase One of the project. It's expected to be completed between 2022-2023. It'll include the following: converting indoor corridors of former Mall into outdoor street scenes activated with programming throughout the year; upgrading building exterior; installing mural art; building a new underground infrastructure to build more than 700 residential units; turning a vacant anchor department store into a boutique hotel; developing public trails; creating a public park.
The ambitious project comes at a $200 million price tag with $20 million of that focused on the Lafayette Square Mall transformation. The rest of the money will go toward redevelopment of the neighborhood emphasizing a focus on dining, music, art, shopping, housing, office, youth education, sports, entertainment, infrastructure improvements and public safety.
During the three-month closure, which will last until November 21, tenants who plan to return to be part of Window to the World will receive support from Sojos Capital in the following ways:
- Six months of free rent (September 2022 - February 2023)
- Partnership with Indiana Gifts and Indiana Owned to provide online selling and other opportunities
- Free installation of new, energy-efficient LED lighting
- Infrastructure and installation of affordable high-speed, fiber internet
- Professional and business development assistance (business training classes and more)
- Design expertise to help tenants reimagine and economically renovate their own spaces
- Branding, marketing and public relations expertise to support business growth
- Continued safety enhancements
- Participation in grand opening activities and events
November 21 marks the soft opening and will allow businesses to benefit from the holiday shopping season. A grand opening is scheduled for April 2023.
Anwar Parvaj, who owns cell phone stores in the mall, says this extensive renovation and new development is what businesses need.
"They're fixing the flooring, the roof, and other stuff so the mall will be nicer," Parvaj said. "They'll bring more customers to this mall. It'll be all new and it'll bring more people."
Monday's closure made Williams Brooks one of the last people to shop in the mall before its extensive changes. He lives in the area and is hopeful Window to the World will bring new life to his west side community.
"It kind of seems like they're helping rebuild the area," Brooks said. "Because it seems like everything around here is dead. I mean there isn't really anything in the area. If they can bring back something into the area that would help everything out."