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Indianola plans $7 million streetscape project around town square; it will take year to complete

Project will ‘make our town sparkle,’ says business owner


A $7 million streetscape project around Indianola’s town square includes widening sidewalks, replacing head-in parking on one side of the streets with parallel spaces and adding trees and other greenery. Also planned is converting one-way traffic to two-way. Work on the project is expected to begin this spring. Architectural rendering special to the Business Record


Kamie Haynes owns and operates Lula Bell Designs, a boutique that has outgrown its space in a strip center near North First Street in Indianola.

Haynes began looking for a new location and settled on space in a building she and her husband recently bought on Indianola’s town square.

“I decided now was the time to move to the square because of all of the activity going on there,” Haynes said. “I want our community to be a destination that people come to, to shop and dine. We’re slowly getting there.”

Haynes, along with other business and property owners and city and community leaders, is hopeful that a new streetscape project on the town square will attract more visitors to the Warren County county seat, and in turn generate more foot traffic to businesses.

Planning for the $7 million project began in 2018 and included multiday assessments of the town square and the amenities that were offered and need to be offered, said Ryan Waller, Indianola’s city manager. A community survey was conducted and town hall meetings were held.

The town square is a gathering place for the community, Waller said. “It’s the heart of our community.”

The streetscape will “freshen up the square,” he said. “It will be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”

Plans include widening sidewalks, adding more trees and other greenery, and converting head-in parking on one side of the street to parallel parking. Also, above-ground utility lines will be buried underground and water lines around the square will be enlarged.

The city received a $1.7 million water quality grant from the state that will allow, among other things, the city to install brick pavers around the square to help move stormwater runoff from the area. The grant will also be used to improve a surface parking lot near the square.

In addition, one-way streets will be changed to two-way. “We believe it will slow down traffic around the square, which means more exposure for businesses,” Waller said. “It will also be safer for pedestrians.”

Work on the streetscape is expected to begin in the spring and take 12 to 15 months to complete.

Haynes said she is looking forward to the project’s completion. “It will make the square more visibly appealing to everyone and, I think, make our town sparkle even more.”

Renovation work on the building Haynes and her husband purchased is expected to be completed by late April. Haynes said she hopes to open Lula Belle Designs’ new located on the Indianola square in early May.

Pamela Bruce, who operates Pamela’s Place on the square, is also looking forward to the completion of the streetscape.

“It will enhance that experience people have when they shop at a small business,” Bruce said. “I think that when you go to the mall, you’re in and out of the store. When you come into one of our stores, you have a different experience in each store.

“With the new streetscape, you’ll have that aesthetic experience outside of the building as well. When you’re walking along the square, you’ll be getting that good feeling that you get when you’re in a small town.”

PHOTO ABOVE: A screenshot from Google maps of what streets in Indianola’s town square currently look like.

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