Plans For International Marketplace Move Forward

Cultural Shopping, Entertainment Complex Planned For West Side

The concept of a cultural district on Indianapolis' west side is closer to reality.

The International Market Place Gateway would enhance the ethnic diversity already in the Lafayette Square area by making the west side an eating, shopping, and entertainment destination, project organizers said.

Over the past few years, big businesses have moved out, leaving behind vacant buildings and opening doors for small ethnic businesses, 6News' Ericka Flye reported.

Project organizers met with the public Thursday to discuss plans for signs, lighting, and landscape. They haven't decided what the International Marketplace Gateway will look like but said there's already a buzz in the neighborhood.

"Where else can you go and you can eat Ethiopian, Peruvian, Cuban, Chinese Vietnamese, all within blocks of one another. It's happening on its own. All we're doing is embracing. This community is learning to embrace what's already here," said Mary Clark, President of the Lafayette Square Area Coalition.

"It's so diverse here on 38th Street, and I'm hoping that everybody will come together and we can make it better," said Panagiota Tsoukalas, an employee with Mr. Gyros.

The next meeting to learn more or share ideas will be held on June 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Westview Healthplex.