The long-awaited Metropolis mall, an open-air, "lifestyle center" just south of U.S. 40 (Main Street) at Perry Road, will open Friday, October 28. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. that day. Festivities for Friday include musical performances, jugglers, ventriloquists, and other family entertainment. Fireworks and a free concert by the Acme Rhythm Steel Drum Band are scheduled for that evening. Additional grand opening events will be held on Saturday, Sunday, and the following Friday, November 4.
Anchored by a two-story Dick's Sporting Goods, an 18-screen Rave Motion Pictures movie theater, and the already-existing JC Penney, the mall is the first shopping center of its kind to be built in Hendricks County, and only the second in the Indianapolis area. The other is Clay Terrace, located in Carmel. Lifestyle centers, which resemble downtown shopping areas, are the newest trend in shopping malls.
A number of stores are in the process of getting ready for customers. Aeropostale, Ann Taylor Loft, Bath & Body Works, Chico's, Christopher & Banks, Coldwater Creek, Designer Shoe Warehouse, Dick's Sporting Goods, The Finish Line, Hot Topic Apparel, J.Jill, Jos. A Bank, Journeys, Kirkland's, Lane Bryant, Limited Too, New York & Company, Old Navy, Pacific Sunwear, Vera Bradley, Victoria's Secret, and Yankee Candle are expected to open with the mall on October 28. Rave Motion Pictures will open November 4, and American Eagle Outfitters and Ovation are also expected to join the mall sometime in November. Restaurants Claddagh Irish Pub and Stone Creek Dining Company are to debut in December. Other stores which have been announced are Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Ulta, a one-stop-shop beauty store, both of which are expected to open in March.
Metropolis developer Premier Properties has placed Futura Park, an outdoor gathering space, at the center of the mall. Musical performances, festivals, LED light shows, and other entertainment events will be held there.
Premier Properties reports that the 550,000 square-foot shopping center opening in October is Phase I of the complete center. A second phase will provide an additional 300,000 square feet of retail space and is expected to be anchored by a major fashion retailer. Development of Phase II, as well as Central Park at Metropolis, a 300-unit multifamily housing development, is scheduled to begin this fall.
New Trail to Connect Friendship Gardens to Skate Park on West Side of Center Street
Current trail users who have to cross Center Street twice to get from Friendship Gardens to Anderson Park (location of the Skate Park) will soon have a way to avoid street traffic: a new extension of the town's trail system. The new trail will connect the two parks but on the west side of the road. Currently the only path between the two parks is on the east side of busy Center Street.
"When you come off the existing trail across the Friendship Gardens bridge, we're going to take the new trail down the west side of the internal road through Friendship Gardens," said Don McGillem, Transportation Director. "We will stripe the pathway to make it clear where pedestrians and bicyclists should travel. The pathway would then come off the striped part of the drive before it intersects with Center Street, go down the west side of Center Street, cross C.R. 700s, and then along the Department of Public Works site, eventually coming along the back side of the circle drive at the Skate Park, intersecting with the existing trail."
The new trail will be a welcome addition. At a meeting held last year primarily to discuss the roundabout at the Hadley Road/Center Street intersection, the town received more responses from people about that new trail extension, rating it as a high priority and encouraging them to get it done, McGillem said.
Pre-construction meetings have already been held about the trail, and construction should start soon. The town expects the new trail extension to be finished by the end of the year.