Indianapolis—The "re-do" at City Market gets a do over. City leaders announced a multi-million dollar plan Friday, which aims to bring new life to the downtown market, hoping to make it destination after a failed attempt in 2007.
Vibrant. Active. And profitable. Those were all apt words for City Market for more than 150 years. In more recent years, one word has applied more than any other: struggling.
"We've watched it go down and it got to a point, really bad, kind of like a morgue," said Larry Carmel with Amazing Potato Chip & Popcorn Company.
"You saw a greater sense of community, when you came to this place, a lot of people you worked with," said Kirk Horn, a City Market Customer.
Even after a makeover in 2007, new paint, lighting and floors failed to bring in the crowds that once made this place a must. The city believes that can and should be again.
"I've always said this needs to be a destination point, I don't think it is right now and I think it needs to become one," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R).
This time around, the plan calls for more infrastructure, color and music. At nearly 3 million dollars, it's more than twice what the last overhaul cost. The changes will be more than cosmetic. City Market will go back to its roots, selling more than just lunch.
"Fresh vegetables, cheeses, beef, fish, all the things that you would like to have readily available and be so fresh and be able to order it during the day and pick it up at 5 o'clock on the way home," said Wayne Schmidt, City Market Corporation President.
Something else leaders hope will ensure success this time around: the Cultural Trail, which is right across the street.
Sam Taylor bought Jumbo's during the last renovation three years ago, but his lunch counter has been around 35 years. He remembers the excitement he felt coming here as a kid and thinks the balance of eating here and shopping here will make it more than it is now: a place many have forgotten about because of so many other choices.
"Now that City Market is revitalizing, getting a new look, we're hoping that everyone comes back," said Taylor.
Construction will begin in August and is expected to be completed by next spring. The Market will not close during construction.