Mall GM: Big Renovations Reflect Commitment, Demo Shift

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(Rendering courtesy of Circle Centre Partnership) (Rendering courtesy of Circle Centre Partnership)

The general manager of Circle Centre Mall says the largest in the nearly 25-year history of the downtown Indianapolis shopping destination will help deliver an "experience that people can't duplicate elsewhere." Audrie Thompson says the renovations demonstrate the commitment of managing partner Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) and stakeholders to maintaining what she calls the "best address downtown." Work is slated to begin in the spring and will take 18-24 months to complete. It will include turning the food court into a "dining pavilion" with lounge and banquette seating and renovations to the restrooms, entrances, parking garages and facelift to the Arts Garden.

During an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Thompson said the demographics of Circle Centre are changing. "Right now, our customer base is made up -- in almost equal parts -- into three categories and that is: the visitor, that's the out of town guest who's going to the convention or the meetings from out of town; and you've got the daytime worker, the worker that comes into downtown; and then you've got the resident, and the residential piece has grown significantly over the last few years into a much younger age bracket -- really a Millennial resident," she said. "Being able to evolve into something that meets the needs of all of those guests is what we're striving to do."

Circle Centre opened in 1995 and is considered to be a catalyst for the rebirth of downtown Indianapolis. In recent years, as online shopping and other factors have caused shifts in consumer buying habits, the mall's lineup has changed significantly. Carson's, the mall's only remaining anchor retail tenant, is preparing to close soon. Thompson says this project and other yet-to-be-announced efforts will continue "to support the future success of Indianapolis as a very vibrant city. We love doing business here." The future, Thompson says, could involve entertainment concepts -- like a virtual reality ride on an INDYCAR or a fighter jet. "We want to be the place where people come -- not just to shop, and spend money, and eat at the most iconic restaurants downtown, where you can now -- but a place where you can be entertained, as well."

During an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Circle Centre Mall General Manager Audrie Thompson said the demographics of Circle Centre are changing.
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