INDIANAPOLIS — A downtown staple will close in 2024 to undergo renovations.
The Indianapolis City Market will close in 2024 for renovations, the city tells WRTV.
The date of closure has not yet been decided.
Businesses at the market can expect to be notified before the closure, according to the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development.
When the property reopens, it will run under a new private management group and not the nonprofit City Market Corporation.
A spokesperson for the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development says it gives city market $478 thousand a year.
In 2022, it called for redevelopment of the East Wing of the market with plans to provide more than 400 housing units, public space upgrades and more.
The goal is to also increase foot traffic.
The city said, "Only after the recent decision to seek a build-operate-transfer (BOT) procurement partner in 2023 did a closure window become apparent. As construction and development timelines begin to formalize, we will share them with vendors and partners. As a part of any temporary shutdown, the current City Market merchants would receive notice of timing months in advance as well as an opportunity to share their specific needs relative to the future of the City Market Campus."
"We have to find a new lease, new building all of that," said Chef DeWuan Finley.
Finley is grateful the area will be revitalized but is worried about what's next for his business and when vendors can come back.
"I'm happy with renovations. I think the new apartment building that will definitely bring a lot of interest in people coming through. In the meantime, a lot of us are small business owners and this is our livelihood," he said.
"I like to come here at least 2-3x a week whenever I am downtown at the office," said Lindsey Baker.
Lindsey baker loves to visit Chef Wuan's Kitchen at the City Market downtown.
"We come here quite often and the pizza place is also very well," she said.
The sloppy joe grilled cheese is one of her go-to's. Some of her other favorite food spots have closed. The market used to be filled with more vendors.
"I wish there was more people here that would come to enjoy it because there are a lot of places that are worthwhile and it's sad to see there's not too many people here as often as there used to be. There used to be lines for every restaurant," she said.
Less customers has impacted Chef Finley. He maintains by catering, meal prepping and serving as a private chef.
"I enjoy it. City Market is still a great place. I still get a lot of business, but I have noticed a change over the last year," said Finley." A lot of it has slowed down there are vendors that have moved out with the city-county moving to the new justice center that definitely impacted the volume of traffic."
Baker is hopeful the city's plan to will bring more people into the area.
"I think that would be top notch. I think Indy is already a big foodie environment. This should allow more vendors to come in. I think that could be a good benefit for them. We have a lot of people who work off Market Street here. Some people pack their lunch, some don't. It's good to have this close place to come that has multiple options for food," she said.
The following statement can be attributed to a spokesperson for the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development:
"In 2022, we called for redevelopment of the east wing of the City Market - what was selected was a much more ambitious and complex project that will strengthen the City Market Campus as a live, work, and play district in Market East. In partnership with Gershman Partners and Citimark, we’ve embarked on a development that includes over 400 housing units, pedestrian-focused infrastructure, public space upgrades, and structural and operational improvements to the historic market house.
To further catalyze the project, over the last two years, the Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC) and Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved $5 million and $12 million, respectively, to energize the campus in addition to the $18.8 million in developer-backed TIF funding for the north campus. This allows us to think boldly with our partners at the City Market Corporation, to strengthen the City Market Campus and its operations into its next era for Indianapolis residents, neighbors, and visitors."
City Market Campus breakdown:
Annual City funding for City Market from City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development: $478,000
City Market TIF funding in Feb 2023: $18.8 Million
Circle City Forward funding in 2022 for west plaza, Market House, alley, catacombs: $12 million
Metropolitan Development Commission approved funding in 2021: $5 million