Dozens of residents attend an open house for the Market Plaza project Thursday at the Greenwood City Center. Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

Dozens of Greenwood residents learned first-hand how planned work on Market Plaza would impact nearby businesses Thursday night.

The city held a two-hour long open house Thursday evening for residents to learn about the project, which includes the full reconstruction of the road from the Pleasant Creek Bridge to Madison Avenue and the addition of sidewalks, and ask questions to city officials. The goal of the project is to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety along Market Plaza by separating the two types of traffic, said Mark St. John, city engineer.

It will also provide aesthetic improvements and a new storm sewer, St. John said.

The Market Plaza project is expected to cost just over $1.5 million. The design and construction inspection was paid for with tax incremental financing, or TIF, funds through the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission. Construction itself is expected to be paid for with funds the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act, St. John said. ARPA funds were given to the city by the federal government.

For the full reconstruction, the old roadway will be completely removed. A new roadway will be constructed with a new storm sewer system, along with a curb and gutter. A new 6-feet wide sidewalk will be constructed, and will be “largely separated” from the roadway by a grass strip. New street lights will also be added to Market Plaza, he said.

Nearly the entire project will be constructed in the city’s right of way, meaning that, for the most part, no land is being taken by the city. There is a small area in front of Jockamo Pizza and NAPA Auto Parts where land is being taken for new street parking spots, but the city worked with the property owners to acquire the land needed for this, St. John said.

Market Plaza will not be shut down for the project, and access will be maintained to all businesses and properties throughout construction, he said.

“There will be an active construction site, but for most of it, we’ll build the road one half at a time,” St. John said. “So we’ll build the north half and the south half will be open to one-way traffic, and then we’ll flip-flop it.”

There is a small section just north of the Pleasant Creek bridge that will pretty much be a complete closure except for maintenance access to the hair salon and barbershop. But this will be built as its own standalone phase, he said.

A contractor for the project was selected earlier this week. Dave O’Mara Contractors will start construction as soon as next month, with the project expected to last for 120 days, or four months, St. John said.

The turnout for Thursday’s open house was more than St. John and Mayor Mark Myers expected, with several people already looking at plans just before the open house officially started. The hope of the event was to give people an idea of what the construction would be, what it would look like when it’s done and to know who to contact if there were issues, St. John said.

“I think there’s been a wider turnout from the community, which is great, because it just shows people are interested in what we’re doing,” he said.

There has been some misinformation about the city’s plans, however. A flyer making its way around social media accuses the city of trying to put a sidewalk down through The Suds, effectively trying to shut down the beloved restaurant.

But this isn’t true, Mayor Mark Myers said earlier this week. He reiterated this during the open house.

”The business owners are here. They’re supportive,” Myers said Thursday. “They don’t understand why it’s getting out on social media that we’re trying to tear their businesses down when actually they know it’s going to make their businesses better.”

As Myers and city staff talked with open house attendees, he said people started to get the idea quickly that the project will be beneficial and will make things safer.

“It’ll make it safer when we have the car shows down there, the regular weekly traffic that’s down there, for people that are going to eat or do whatever go to the shops,” Myers said. “It’s just all about making it safer for the public and also to enhance the appearance of the area.”

The owners of The Suds are supportive of the project too, Myers said. Owner John Wagner confirmed this during a brief conversation with the Daily Journal at the open house.

Technically speaking, the planned project is only the first phase of improvements for Market Plaza. Phase 2 will encompass Market Plaza from the northern limits of Phase 1 to Main Street.

However, there are no plans for Phase 2 at this time, St. John said. The city owns a large portion of the property along this section of the Market Plaza and is currently evaluating how to leverage this area for future redevelopment, he said.

“There’s nothing under design, nothing planned [right now],” he said.

Project updates will be posted at