New cultural district being created downtown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The next time you’re downtown, you might want to check out the city’s 7th cultural district.

Mayor Greg Ballard made the announcement Wednesday morning at the Old City Hall on the corner of Ohio and Alabama.

The district is named “Market East” and will be centered where the old Market Square Arena used to stand.

It will include everything from East Street over to Delaware and from Bankers Life Fieldhouse up to New York Street.

It’s joins Broad Ripple Village, the Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Mass Ave, Indiana Avenue and the Wholesale District.

Mayor Ballard hopes it’s a neighborhood that will attract everyone from families to young professionals.

“People have their choices and they decide where they want to go. We want to provide all those amenities because until recently, downtown hasn’t been a living option, so we’re kind of, we want people to have that option if they so choose. So, that’s really what we’re trying to do here,” he said.

One spot in particular that needs to be spruced up is the plaza outside the City County Building.

“I see a lot of dilapidation going on. A lot of wear and tear a lot of age,” said Indianapolis resident William Pennington.

What’s even more wonderful for him is that Mayor Greg Ballard agrees.

“It does kind of say ‘stay away,” Ballard said. “I’m not sure that’s the signal we want to be sending. Not right now, but hopefully soon.”

Rather than being the area known for vast parking lots and a building full of city workers and court rooms–city leaders hope people will soon call it by its new name, Market East.

“When you go to Fountain Square, you know you’re in Fountain Square. When you go to Broad Ripple, you know you’re in Broad Ripple. We want people to know they’re in Market East,” said Mayor Ballard.

That starts with architecture, highlighted by the new IndyGO Transit Center and an upscale 28-story apartment building known as Market Square Tower, things you’ll see instead of those flat parking lots.

When it comes to the plaza outside the City County Building, artists can submit a design to give the spot a fresh look, with a not so subtle hint from the mayor on what to include.

“The winning design, all types of designs should include an outdoor skating rink,” Mayor Ballard joked during the press conference.

Pennington wasn’t keen on that idea, but one woman 24-Hour News 8 spoke with thought it would be a fun place to take her daughter.

Ice rink or not, many agree this part of town could use a change of scenery.

“It’d be a positive thing for the area,” Pennington said.

One last big addition to Market East 24-Hour News 8 has reported on before is the multi-million dollar distribution headquarters that Cummins Incorporated will build in the parking lot on the northeast corner of Alabama and Washington Street.

Some projects already underway include apartments being built just east of the Cummins location.

This summer, the plan is to break ground for the new transit center and Market Square Tower.

To learn more about Market East,click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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