The Carmel City Center Community Development Corporation, commonly known as the 4CDC, is planning to open a gift shop, to be called All Things Carmel, on Main Street in the Carmel Arts & Design District.
Carmel City Council President Ron Carter, who is the past president of the 4CDC, said the nonprofit signed a lease at the end of April for the space that was formerly occupied by the StyleStop boutique store. The next steps are to hire a manager to run the retail store and build up a staff of volunteers to sell merchandise. The 4CDC is currently purchasing inventory items to sell.
The idea behind All Things Carmel is to sell branded items such as coffee mugs, T-shirts, memorabilia and more than promotes the City of Carmel.
“There was really no place to buy the things you might want to buy to show how much you love Carmel,” Carter said.
For years, Carter said the idea had been bounced around, but nothing had ever manifested. For the past five months, Carter has been working on making the idea a reality along with the board and new 4CDC President Jack Ragland, a retired banker.
The 4CDC is a local, community development organization with ties to city government. Its goal is to serve the mission of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, which is a government entity, but the 4CDC is separate from the government and follows different rules.
Carter said he understands it may seem complicated to run a retail business, but he said they have met with lawyers and accountants and feel like the business plan is solid.
“This is one of the ways we can support the mission of the CRC is to put another vibrant retail option in the Arts District,” he said. “Nobody else had stepped forward to do the job, and we thought we have the resources to make it happen.”
The store could open by the end of May.