Have you heard about the Farmers Market Infrastructure Improvement project? Hopefully a brand new market pavilion will soon stand on a square of pavement, affectionately still called ‘the sand lot’, which is directly west of the current overhangs, on the east side of Fourth Street. For many years the Public Market Advisory Commission has been advocating to upgrade and improve the market infrastructure, especially to improve the winter shopping experience. And now the dream is about to become a reality. The goals of the new structure are to improve the market experience for the whole community, to provide an outlet for local food, and to serve as a community gathering space throughout the year. The proposed infrastructure has dedicated funding from the City of Ann Arbor, Parks Department and the Downtown Development Authority.
Click here for a great summary of the purpose, background, design and development progress.
As a longtime local food advocate, local food business owner and market vendor, farmland preservation supporter and local township elected official I whole-heartedly support this new Farmers Market structure. We need to update and improve our historic and iconic Ann Arbor Farmers Market, and make the space more customer-friendly and useable more days of the year. Many other local farmers markets have a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces that make them pleasant for shoppers and vendors regardless of the weather. The proposed building will drive economic development. The proposed building’s architecture is appealing. The proposed building is the right all-seasons market improvement for our community.
Ann Arbor City Council will vote on this project at their meeting on Thursday, August 4. The meeting begins at 7 pm and takes place at City Hall, 301 E. Huron Street, on the second floor in Council chambers. I hope you will voice your support for this project. Council needs to hear from farmers market shoppers and local food lovers!!
If you are an Ann Arbor City resident, and can’t attend the meeting, you can also email or call your representative on Council; their contact information can be found here: http://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-council/Pages/Home.aspx