Dave Cumming's Commentary

User submitted January 31st, 2018

Circle Centre opened a little over 20 years ago to much fanfare in Indianapolis. A lot of problems plagued its construction, and its grand opening was about a decade later than it was planned. When it first opened, they had 2 high end anchor stores, Nordstrom & Parisian, and a wide array of shopping choices, and several night clubs on the 4th floor.

Around the early 2000s, the night clubs were all closed, eventually replaced by a college (which also closed) . The shopping choices dwindled. Stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, & the Gap closed, replaced with a Glow in the dark mini golf place and a place that normally sells just calendars. Then 1 of the 2 anchors Nordstrom closed down, eventually replaced with the offices for the Indy Star newspaper. After each holiday season, the store closings would get worse and worse. Higher end stores leaving, getting replaced with things like an eyebrow threading salon. The other anchor store, Parisian was replaced with a Carson\'s which now announced that they\'re closing, leaving the mall with no anchors at all.

There's a lot of problems that lead Circle Centre to this situation. Its downtown location being one. Their parking garages normally have decent rates for parking, $3 for 3 hours, however things like Colts home games tend to cause the rates to jump up to a flat $20 to park. Also, a rash of fights and shootings in and around the mall scare a lot of people away. That and the abundance of homeless people who both congregate just outside the entrances and throughout the mall, accosting people who come and go doesn't help matters either. The last time I ate in their food court, I was approached 5 times by homeless people trying to hit me up for money, a couple of which got really aggressive when I said no.

There are some bright spots to the mall, there have been several sit down restaurants opened up, Nada, Punch Bowl Social, and Burger Study (which is owned by the people who own the famed St. Elmo Steak House) opened in the past year and a half...but they are all located in just the first floor and connect to the outside, so it doesn't drive any shopping indoors.

I don't know what the future holds for this mall. There's time for it to turn around and save itself...but it stands on the precipice of its own demise.

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