Twenty years ago, a small group of retailers, service providers and businesses became the first to call Market Square in New Albany home. The pioneers, including Elliott Cooper, an apparel, accessory and home décor boutique; Eye Designs, an optometry practice; Learning Express, a children’s toy and gift shop; and New Albany Realty, invested in the city’s dream of a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use environment that would promote community interaction and economic vitality.
Anchored by the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s New Albany Branch at the north end of Market Square, the newcomers offered the community new destinations in the heart of the city and helped to seed a landmark development that has grown to encompass numerous retail establishments, restaurants and offices as well as the Heit Center for Healthy New Albany and the new Rose Run Park. The park’s Raines Crossing pedestrian bridge connects Market Square to the New Albany-Plain Local Schools, the McCoy Center for the Performing Arts and the recently opened Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater. Now, New Albany is setting its sights on driving investment in the historic Village Center where Rose Run Park II will be expanded along the creek bed to the east of Market Square. When completed, it will feature a Veterans Memorial with an honor wall, heroes walk and a Founders Wall surrounding the existing Founders Cemetery. City leaders anticipate that public investment in the historic area will encourage more private investment there as it did at Market Square.