KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A little over a year after breaking ground, Phase 1 of the Kalamazoo Farmers Market renovation is officially open.  

City leaders gathered at the market on Bank Street Saturday morning to cut the ribbon on the $5.5 million dollar renovation and expansion. 

The new site features 160 vendor spaces, new bathrooms, improved accessibility for wheelchair users and larger paved parking spaces on either side of the market. 

City leaders praised the donors who helped make this improvement to the 75-year-old space possible.  

“The City of Kalamazoo is grateful for the grants from the Foundation for Excellence, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Consumers Energy Foundation for investing in the revitalization of the market, and it will continue to benefit the community over and over,” said Kalamazoo City Commissioner Qianna Decker.

“In addition to creating access to fresh food, the Farmers’ Market also boosts our local economy,” said Steve Brown, the director of Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence.

“It supports local, mostly family-owned businesses so the vendors that you see here working their tails off every time you come, to help serve you fresh food, give you their crafts and any other products that they have,” Brown said.

The second phase of the project which will include a 9,000 square foot event building is expected to be completed by 2024.