Mayor Greg Ballard sets sights on redeveloping Market Square Arena site

Ballard: Time is right, economy is ready

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says the time and economy are right for the city to take another shot at redeveloping the Market Square Arena site.

During his State of the City speech on Friday, Ballard said his administration will seek plans to turn the north lot of the former arena in downtown Indianapolis into something better than surface parking.

"We know there is a lot of interest. We've already been approached with some interesting ideas," Ballard said. "But make no mistake, I want to be bold."

The city has solicited ideas in the past and come up with plans that varied from condos to mixed residential and retail use, but the projects never panned out for various reasons. 

Customer interest never brought in sufficient commitments, with many in the target audience complaining that prices for the residential units were too high.

Market Square Arena was the home of the NBA's Indiana Pacers for 25 years and was the site of Elvis Presley's final concert before his death in 1977.

Ballard says it's been nearly 36 years since Elvis left the building and it is time for the space to make its architectural mark on the city once again.

Ballard says he wants to have something that will make an architectural statement, bring people and retail back to the area and put that prime site back on the tax rolls.

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