September 7, 2022

Circle City Forward funding proposed for MLK Park, City Market projects

City Market upgrades include the plaza and alley. - Photos provided by the city of Indianapolis

City Market upgrades include the plaza and alley.

Photos provided by the city of Indianapolis

The Circle City Forward initiative targets $25 million for new facility projects.

The proposal being considered by the Indianapolis City-County Council would fund projects at MLK Park and the City Market.  Members of the council’s Administration and Finance Committee heard the financial presentation at a meeting this week. 

Sarah Sarah Riordan with the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank said $12 million will go to the City Market for work that includes the plaza, an alley catacombs and the historic market building.

“Elevators have not been working. There are some mechanical issues. There are roof issues, there are a number of them,” Riordan said.

District 25 Republican Brian Mowery questioned if the City Market investment would pay off.

“To me it seems like City Market has had its woes, so with $12 million what kind of return on investment do we expect to see,” Mowery asked.

Millions in private investment is planned for the City Market block including new apartments.

The other projects include $7 million for a new fire station on the east side and $5 million for upgrades at MLK park. A park pavilion is planned to highlight the history of the park.

“It’s kind of made to feature the peace memorial in a more interactive way,” Riordan said.

Property taxes would be used to pay off the bonds.

The proposal now goes to the full council for a vote.

The $190 million Circle City Forward initiative was announced last year to invest in public facilities and amenities. Projects already underway include a new coroner’s office and facilities at Frederick Douglass Park.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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