A retail center in Muncie is under new ownership, and the city has plans to improve connectivity in the area. Entrepreneur Scott Mick, owner of The Barking Cow ice cream shop, has acquired White River Plaza, though financial terms were not disclosed.
White River Plaza is the home of several businesses, including a restaurant, comic book shop and more. It was previously owned by a tax-exempt, nonprofit entity.
However, the city says now that the development is owned by a for-profit entity, it will provide a boost in property tax revenue and see benefits from incoming retailers.
White River Plaza is located near Westside Park and the White River Greenway. Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour plans to invest in crosswalk improvements and an exit ramp from the Greenway to Nichols Avenue, allowing pedestrians to easily access the retail center.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Where can I get lunch or a drink along the Greenway?’” Ridenour said in written remarks. “A family living downtown should be able to walk the Greenway, stop for lunch and shopping at the Plaza, and then spend the afternoon at Westside park. That’s what it means to be a walkable city.”
The infrastructure improvements are set to be paid from the mayor’s EDIT funds, according to the city. Additionally, the Muncie City Council will consider a tax abatement for renovations and improvements to the plaza itself.
“We are excited about the opportunity to breathe new life into the White River Plaza,” said Mick. “Our goal is to bring new traffic to its current tenants as well as offer a home for new businesses and restaurants to serve as an appealing gateway to the downtown area.”
The city says the first improvements to be made will include upgrades to the plaza’s facade and parking lot in an effort to attract potential restaurant tenants.
Improvements to both the plaza and greenway are expected to get underway in the coming months.