Disappointing News

There are so many real problems in today’s world that it seems extremely petty to complain about this, but I see that The Indianapolis Star is negotiating with the Simon Company to move into the space previously occupied by Nordstrom.

The City has worked long and hard to get a critical mass of retailing in the downtown core. An adequate retail presence is necessary if we are to continue the residential rebirth downtown: these uses are co-dependent. We need enough people who live downtown to support retail uses, and we need retail uses that are convenient in order to attract downtown residents.

We’ve already lost the site of the former Borders to a bank. Now we are losing the Nordstrom site– a prime retail location that many hoped would be filled by a Macy’s or similar shopping destination.

When I first worked downtown, I was a lawyer at what was then considered a large firm (52). There were perhaps two places to have lunch; there was nowhere to shop. When I first moved downtown, there was no grocery. (What is now Marsh and was O’Malia’s was then an old and decrepit Sears Roebuck, with blue metal siding.) City officials and not-for-profit organizations have worked hard over the ensuing years to revive the core of our city, to attract a broad mix of uses, and to make it a place people want to live in and visit.

It’s worrisome enough that the soaring crime rate is once again making people hesitant to attend downtown events. If we lose the things that attract people downtown, that’s a double whammy.

This is just one location–albeit an important one–and obviously, Simon can do what it wants with its own property.  But it’s disappointing–another lost opportunity at a time when Indianapolis lacks the political and civic leadership that over the years turned “Naptown” into a great place to live.


  1. I read the article with misgivings; the politicalized statement was as breast-beating as the Citizen’s Energy Group board of directors condoning their appalling pay increases. An 87% pay increase is unconscionable for any human being in any job…but tht is another can of worms. If I understand the article regarding the Star/Gannet moving to Circle Centre Mall, it means a factory-type business in the Mall, as Crotchfelt stated, “in the heart of the city”. Doesn’t this mean that parking would be provided for many more Star/Gannett employees than were required by Nordstrom’s or any department store to locate there? I assume all Mall employees park in the Circle Centre garage. Also/ Star/Gannett would be a 24/7 operation with employee shifts coming and going. Current conditions in downtown regarding criminal activity, including shootings, could escalate with more possible victims due to employee work hours. I have not shopped downtown since retiring from City government in 1994; the declining shopping options in Circle Centre Mall to not inspire residents to come downtown to shop or to live.

  2. How will having Simon as a landlord impact the Star’s ability or willingness to do investigative reporting on Simon Property Group and/or its employees/executives?

  3. “It’s worrisome enough that the soaring crime rate is once again making people hesitant to attend downtown events. If we lose the things that attract people downtown, that’s a double whammy.”
    …poverty breeds crime. And retail alone will not correct this until the populace has $$ to spend.

    And good paying jobs will correct this.

    Eisenhower put forth funds to create our interstate system employing millions at good wages. And they in turn bought homes and other items that employed additional peoples, local construction, washing machine manufacturers, TV’s…ect. The middle class IS the economy!
    A 1% hedge fund exec will buy a new privet plane, prob made overseas with his/her millions where the middle class will spend that same money here with local services and items.

  4. I’d rather the Nordstrom site be occupied by retail too, but it’s been vacant much too long already. Perhaps having more adults around the mall round the clock will reduce some of the teenager
    problems at the mall.

    For the last 7-8 years, I avoided the mall in evening hours except at Christmas time because of the roving numbers of teenagers without adult supervision and without apparent security presence. I would patronize restaurants for dinner at the north end of the mall but wouldn’t shop afterwards. Many friends also stopped shopping there after work due to the same security concerns. Lack of evening shoppers likely affects store decisions to vacate.

    After the years of effort and expense to create Circle Centre, I REALLY want to see it succeed but not at the expense of my own and others’ safety. So I hope the STAR’s employees AND Simon Properties increase the adult and security presence respectively in the mall and make shoppers, retailers, and their employees ALL feel safer there.

  5. I believe the Star (Indianapolis Newspapers Inc) was an investor in Circle Center Mall, and that this investment still exists under Gannett now obviously. So the Star moving from one downtown building to another tells me this is more about Gannett shoring up its investment in Circle Center. I may be overimaginative.

  6. “the roving numbers of teenagers without adult supervision ”
    …are they Sharks or Jets ?

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