Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ideas for a better downtown? Start with these three now

I love Noblesville. I really do. And because I love it, I’m always thinking of what I’d like to see downtown to make it better. Friends and I have discussed many times what we’d like to see on the Square and what we’d do if we had a million magical dollars to just make it happen.
So here we go, in no particular order:

• Have a downtown Farmer’s Market on the Square on a weeknight. Many people want this. Saturday mornings for our family are usually booked solid, as they are many families. If you can’t make it one Saturday, or any Saturday, how can you get fresh, local produce from the farmers? But if there was another day and time for the market—like from 3-7pm on Wednesday, there you go! I just got back from rural New England where it’s common to have Farmer’s Markets six days a week!

• An anchor grocery store, like a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods. Most of my friends shop these stores and we have to travel to Castleton or Carmel. If one of these were on the square, we’d think we’d died and gone to heaven. Heck, an independent natural foods store would be just as awesome, if not more so.

• An independent pharmacy on the Square. I know I’m really tired of seeing those two giant drugstore chains competing to see who can populate Hamilton County more densely. You know who I’m talking about. There are, I believe, only 2 indie drugstores left in the whole county, one of which is in downtown Westfield.

Thoughts? What would you like to see downtown? I’d love to hear your comments. I have more ideas for what I’d like to see, but I think this is a good start.

PS--the new facebook page for bring a weekday Farmer's Market downtown is  here.


  1. Thank you for your column. My name is Mark Boice and I serve on the Noblesville Council. I enjoyed your idea concerning the farmers' market being offered through the week. The Noblesville Main Street is in charge of the market along with Jeff Zeckel. I will forward your idea to them and see if there is anything we can do. Noblesville administration believed we were going to get our high-end grocery store a year ago at the corner of Hazel Dell and IN32 next to the CVS. (My wife was overjoyed) However, the economic times proved too difficult for the developer and they ran out of money. Our ED department is still actively pursuing to find a developer to procure one. Thank you again for your thoughts.

  2. Mark,
    I really appreciate your comments. I would hope that the city/main street would support a downtown market. Please do pass on that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE I have talked to would love a downtown market. there is a facebook page dedicated to it here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Noblesville-wants-a-weekday-Farmers-Market/110521362329460?ref=mf
    We'd love your support in this.

    Also, sorry to hear about the grocery store plans falling through. I hope that does happen...


  3. Hi Krista, I live in "old town" and I enjoyed your article in the Current. Here's a couple of ideas I'd like to see come to fruition. When the parking lot south of Town Hall was completed I was shocked! I mean really shocked! Will all the talk about the lack of parking around the square I just assumed the parking lot was going to be a parking garage. It made sense! Why build a lot when two more stories above would park so many more cars? I know cost is a factor and so is presence but why not make that parking lot into a garage? Build it out of brick matching the Town Hall and surround it with trellises full of blooming vines so the neighbors don't have to look at a bunch of cars. It becomes much needed additional parking and a beautiful addition to our town? Ok. Here's the second suggestion. Noblesville is a town of many diverse people and people of many different ages. Our sidewalks are horrible! I am 57 and terrified of walking on the sidewalks. I can't tell you how many times I've stumbled. I recently was visiting with a neighbor who was using her walker on the brick sidewalk. I was terrified for her! I have a new grandson and using the brick sidewalks to go for a stroll totally beats him up! What makes Noblesville such a jewel in our fast paced, American, culture is that is is still a living, small, town. It still is full of wonderful homes with wonderful people. How about making it easier for all of us to access the town square, walk to the Farmer's Market, actually pull a shopping basket to a little grocery on the square and get home in one piece. I think the town board needs to address this pronto! I will share these ideas with Mark Boice also. Sincerely, Beth Siminski (I live behind the Dairy Queen.)

  4. Thank you for your input, MGES!

    Here are some other ideas I got via email:
    1. A cool historic theater- like Danville's Royal theater- that could play old movies and host small venue concerts

    2. An upscale cocktail bar

    3. A gourmet bakery

    4. A grown up bookstore (adult bookstore doesn't sound right...)

    5. A fabric/craft store

    6. A thrift store

    ...I think that's it. I got another email from a woman who dreams of opening a natural foods grocery on the square, too. It means so much to me to be connecting with other like-minded people!