Record numbers of people, of all ages, are choosing to make Downtown Indianapolis their home (the estimated Downtown population is 26,000, with another 6,000 people arriving in the next three years). They are choosing the urban core for many reasons including – but not limited to – the proximity to up-and-coming career opportunities, established job hubs, world renowned universities, world class attractions and entertainment venues and the best culinary and watering holes in the state. They have everything they want at their fingertips and footsteps.

One area that we at Downtown Indy, Inc. care very deeply about is making Downtown a hub for world class retail shops. More than 20 years ago, there was a vision to create what we now know as Circle Centre Mall the core of our retail strategy. As the years have passed, our retail scene has evolved, progressed and been enhanced by nearby retail and entertainment hubs (I’m applauding you, Mass Ave and Fountain Square). One effect of that maturation: the mall has lost its footing as the retail destination in Downtown. This wasn’t an intentional downgrade, but nonetheless, it happened.

With more than 200 shops, Downtown Indy offers a variety of options.

With more than 200 shops, Downtown Indy offers a variety of options, including many local retailers on Mass Ave.

We ALL need the mall to be successful, especially if we want to fill the new apartments and housing that continues to come (Downtown will add another 4,300 housing units in the next three years). What do we do? We patronize the businesses that stick it out. We prioritize shopping there before leaving our neighborhood in search of other outlets. We use social media to let our favorite stores know we want them here in our Downtown community. We come out and celebrate on Georgia Street and let the new Circle Centre restaurants (Nada, Punch Bowl Social and Primanti Brothers) know that we are thrilled they chose to join the fastest growing neighborhood in the state.

I applaud Circle Centre for the variety of food options, both in the food court and the many staple restaurants.

I applaud Circle Centre for the variety of food options, both in the food court and the many sit down restaurants that line Maryland Street.

The thing is, Circle Centre has hit some bumps, but us kicking them when they are down isn’t the way to build it back up.

Let’s celebrate all that Circle Centre DOES have going on. Below, my top five favorite things about Circle Centre:

  • 1. United Artists Circle Centre 9. If you haven’t been to the newly renovated movie theater, you are truly missing out. Think: reclining seats and validated parking. Plus, chances are high that you will spot a Pacers player or two catching a new release.
  • 2. Options for everyone. Circle Centre does a great job of feeding the masses that come through Downtown. The food court has a wide variety of options for on-the-go workers, plus there are sit down restaurant staples like Champps and P.F. Chang’s.
  • 3. Carson’s. This anchor tenant has the best sales, plus it is my go-to for a wide selection of home furnishings. Being the lone department store Downtown is a big responsibility and they come through for us admirably.
  • 4. T.J. Maxx. This store offers great prices and satisfies need for random lunchtime purchases.
  • 5. Connectivity. Many of us enjoy parking at the mall and then using the heated walkways to reach any number of Downtown locations (hotels, the Indiana Convention Center and mixed use office buildings).

The mall has a lot going on. But I, as with all of us at Downtown Indy, Inc., have a vision to make Downtown better and to continuously improve our city. Hence, my top five retailers that SHOULD BE at the Mall:

  • 1. CB2
  • 2. Apple/Microsoft (I’m an equal opportunity consumer. They are both welcome.)
  • 3. Anthropologie
  • 4. Sephora
  • 5. Under Armour/Nike/Adidas (With all of our sports fanatics downtown, we need more places for them to ooh and aah over hot new kicks and technical gear.)

What do you love most about our mall? What changes would you like to see?