Pop-Up Retail Initiative Launched By Downtown Indy, Inc.

A partnership between The City of Indianapolis and PATTERN seeks to make use of vacant commercial spaces in downtown Indy.
Downtown Indianapolis has witnessed tremendous growth over the past several years, thanks in part to the city’s burgeoning tech industry and a focused effort by younger residents to live close to cultural amenities. While the ever-expanding host of new residences is apparent with downtown development projects, attracting businesses to move into first floor retail spaces has stalled. Hoping to encourage the utilization of unclaimed and empty commercial spaces, Downtown Indy, Inc. has partnered with the fashion art magazine PATTERN with the launch of a pilot project called St’artUp 317. The initiative aims to attract artisans, entrepreneurs, and creative retail outlets to grow business through the use vacant spaces located in many of the city’s vibrant neighborhoods with the longterm goal of eliminating empty storefronts.

So what’s in store for those interested in participating? 30 days of prime real estate storefronts, window displays, and even a vacant parking lot in Fountain Square in which to showcase merchandise, artwork, and goods.

According to Catherine Esselman, real estate director for Downtown Indy, Inc., “the pop-up model is a proven one from what we’ve seen in other markets. It allows a company to experience the market, understand the demographics, drive brand awareness and grow business. The goal of this program is to eventually eliminate empty storefronts, increase local and visitor consumer spending and ensure that the downtown neighborhoods continue to thrive.”

The pop-up program is open to all kinds of potential tenants, from established mainstays in the community to startups, online retailers to independent, locally-sourced craftspeople. Interested participants are encouraged to attend an informational meetup hosted by PATTERN at The Artistry from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21. Applications for the initiative are accepted online until April 1.