Rehab planned for Lafayette Square Mall

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Community leaders in Indianapolis are hoping a change in landscape will also mean a change in perception about a once thriving shopping area, and they are looking for your input.

Ten years ago the Lafayette Square Mall was a serious destination for mall shoppers and people wanting to enjoy some big restaurants, but the past few years that has changed big time. Even city leaders admit this area experienced a period of decline, especially after the anchor stores shutdown.

Community leaders now say the area is reborn as what they call an international market place. There are plans to renovate the sidewalks and streets to make this a more pedestrian and traffic friendly area, and give shoppers access to stores offering ethnic and independent services and goods.

Ryan Hunt of the Department of Metropolitan Development says the renovations also include convincing shoppers this is also a lot safer area than believed.

"The perception is worse than the realities. We think that by bringing positive players into the area to shop and do business with the various communities that are invested we can make a dent in the perception for sure. We can really make a dent in the perception for sure and certainly having those kind of players in the area are going to make it less attractive to the criminal element."

A public meeting will be held Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at New Wineskin Ministries at 4501 West 38th Street. You can give your input about changes in the streetscape, infrastructure improvements.