A Letter from Mary Clark
Indy's International Marketplace Must Move
Since the inception of Indy’s International Marketplace in the early 2000s, we have welcomed everyone while working to positively revitalize the once declining Lafayette Square-area. Immigrants from cultures across the world have come together to create an environment unique to Indianapolis and the greater Midwest. By working together, we have grown to become a global destination known for ethnic experiences and the world is taking notice.
As a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, our efforts focus on “Shrinking the globe and creating a village.” Our 2.5-square mile area is now home to more than 800 ethnic businesses including 80 ethnic restaurants and 40 different markets with more than 100 spoken languages represented. With generous support from the community and city, we have begun to transform the westside of Indianapolis into an International Marketplace – a place to eat, a place to shop and a place to be. In the past year, businesses in our area invested more than $4 million making improvements as a commitment to remain in the neighborhood. Overall, in a current 18-month period, our area will benefit from more than $75 million in new development.
Almost a year ago we moved into a new space on Commercial Drive, creating a Welcome Center, our vision included purchasing an entire 182,000 square-foot plaza to further help lift our community. We chose this space because it’s been vacant for several years and is currently only 20 percent occupied. We spent nearly $100,000 to move and make the space useable – this included the build-out of a new stage with lighting and audio capabilities, painting, cleaning and an alarm system.
Unfortunately, we were not able to agree to terms with the current property owner and we must move out of our current space by Sunday, March 31, 2019.
Those whom I have told immediately ask how they can help. We need volunteers to help us pack between now and when we move on Thursday, March 28, Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 (if needed). We also need movers to help us take items to a temporary storage site. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Maria Manalang at MManalang@IMCoalition.org or by calling 317.332.8007.
While our dream to create the Global Village has been postponed, we are diligently working to find a new home to make our community a better place. We are confident that Indy’s International Marketplace (Global Village) Welcome Center will land on its feet, bigger and better than ever as we develop a thriving cultural, commercial and connected destination to shrink the world and create a village.
Mary G. Clark