Downtown Indy Inc. Launches Retail Pop-Up Initiative

Posted: Updated:
(Image courtesy of St'artUp 317.) (Image courtesy of St'artUp 317.)

Downtown Indy Inc. has launched a retail pop-up initiative. In collaboration with the city of Indianapolis and fashion arts nonprofit PATTERN, the new program, called St'artUp 317, is designed to revive first-floor retail in vacant commercial spaces throughout the Indianapolis downtown area. The first set of pop-ups will run during the month of May.

"It's really a partnership in placemaking between landlords of traditional commercial retail space, as well as the creative community and small businesses," said Catherine Esselman, real estate director for Downtown Indy Inc. "This is a way for someone to test the market without making a long-term commitment."

A number of vacant retail spaces, street-level windows and lots are available, including four window locations at Circle Center Mall.

So far, Esselman says they have received 50 vendor applications. She expects that number to increase as the April 1 deadline draws closer.

“The pop-up model is a proven one from what we have seen in other markets. It allows a company to experience the market, understand the demographics, drive brand awareness and grow business." 

Businesses will begin to move into their designated spaces starting April 24th and will remain there through June 4th. Esselman says the ideal candidate for St’artUp 317 already has inventory, a strong social media presence and a built-in base of business “but haven’t pulled the trigger for one reason or another in locating downtown.” Her hope is that this program will serve as an affordable way for businesses to see that downtown Indy is "a really strong market where they will make money.” 

Once May is over, St'artUp 317 's goal is to get participating businesses to sign a long-term lease. Which Esselman says in turn, will fulfill the ultimate mission of the initiative: "Less vacancy in downtown Indianapolis."

  • Perspectives

    • The Art of The Apology

      You screwed up. You handled something the wrong way, or you failed to handle it when you should have. Now what are you going to do? If you're a big company, you're probably going to screw up some more. Oh, you’ll attempt some kind of public apology, but it will be so halfhearted or passive-aggressive that you'll get called on it, and you’ll find yourself taking a second whack at the apology tree. That's the conclusion I’ve drawn as I've...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Preferred Route For I-69 Bridge Unveiled

      The team overseeing the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project has unveiled a preferred route for the extension of the interstate connecting Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky. The group has also released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the effort, which identifies preferred alternatives for the route with different tolling options. The project team, which includes the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, is recommending the...

    • $600M Waste-to-Fuel Plant Coming to Gary

      A California-based renewable jet fuel and diesel producer has announced plans for a massive investment in northwest Indiana. Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. says it will invest $600 million to build the Centerpoint BioFuels Plant in Gary, which will convert municipal solid waste into renewable transportation fuel. The project is expected to create up to 163 jobs by the end of 2022. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Centerpoint will be located at an industrial site that will be...

    • Committee to Steer Future of Bloomington Hospital Site

      A newly-formed group tasked with providing the next steps for the Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital property will hold its first meeting Monday. The Hospital Re-Use Steering Committee will begin the effort to re-envision the property, which will be acquired by the city upon completion of the new Indiana University Health Regional Academic Health Center.

    • National Guard Academy Targets At-Risk Youth

      Indiana's adjutant general says the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy in Knightstown continues to make a difference by offering at-risk teenagers a second chance. The academy, which was established in 2007, will Saturday celebrate another graduating class. The program uses quasi-military training, structure and discipline for students between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of school or are severely deficient in credits. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business...

    • Scotty's Brewhouse Files For Bankruptcy

      Indianapolis-based Scotty's Brewhouse has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company says the decision was "driven largely by the challenges of some specific locations and was necessary because of the way the company was structured corporately." As a result of the deal, Scotty's will close four of its restaurants by the end of the year. In a news release provided to Inside INdiana Business...