(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indy is rebranding the line of strip malls between I-65 and 465 on the westside as the International Marketplace.
The stretch of 38th Street from Lafayette Square Mall west to the bypass has become a melting pot of ethnic markets -- Asian, African, Mexican and Indo-Pakistani -- with even more nationalities represented in the area's more than 100 restaurants.
Mayor Greg Ballard and neighborhood leaders gathered to dedicate four 36-foot-high, globe-topped markers proclaiming the entryways to the neighborhood. Lights in the globes will display the colors of different national flags to mark those countries' cultural events and holidays.
International Marketplace Coalition executive director Mary Clark speculates the neighborhood has drawn its diversity from the struggles of some of the businesses which used to populate the many shopping centers on 38th. As stores closed, she says low real estate prices may have drawn immigrants in, with the vibrancy of the neighborhood's ethnic mix serving to attract more. She's hoping officially proclaiming the "International Marketplace" with the new markers will draw both businesses and visitors.
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