INDIANAPOLIS — Local entrepreneur Katina Washington is working to bring new life to Circle Centre Mall.
In October, Washington will open the SHE Xperience department store at the former Victoria's Secret location in the downtown mall.
“I approached the mall with the idea. I was thinking Indiana Avenue at first,” Washington said.
Then she decided to go bigger and outside the box.
“Indiana Avenue is where many black businesses started, but the mall was a great focal point for the venture,” Washington said.
Over the past decade, the downtown mall has struggled and more hardship resulted from last year's riots.
Washington saw opening the department store as a chance to not only pump new life into to the mall, but to give minority business owners a platform in the process.
“Many of the vendors were not able to open a brick and mortar independently, but we are going to do it together,” Washington said.
The mall has been managed by Chicago-based JLL since April, and the department store is expected to lead the way towards a new day bringing shoppers inside to buy local.
“We have 9,048 square feet and we plan on using every square foot of the space,” said Washington.
Now that people are outside, she says she knows where they are headed.
“People are making their way back downtown,” said Washington.