Kalamazoo breaks ground on farmers market renovations

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials broke ground Friday afternoon on the renovation of the Kalamazoo Farmers Market.

The groundbreaking ceremony included remarks from city leaders including Mayor David Anderson.

The city’s Parks and Recreations Department has said the $4.2 million of improvements at the Bank Street location will add new vendor spaces and renovate existing vendor spaces. It will also build a new restroom, office building and performance stage, as well as install new bike racks and create additional parking.

“This is a very popular market obviously with about 4,000 people that attend on an average Saturday, so we’re excited about having the parking that we need and extra restroom space,” Parks and Recreation Director Sean Fletcher said. “Those were two of the things that a lot of people commented on so we’re very excited to make those improvements.”

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail will also run through the market and end at Reed Court. It currently ends at the south end of Upjohn Park along Lake Street to Bank Street.

The Foundation for Excellence contributed about $2.2 million to the project. Additional funds came from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Consumers Energy, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the city.

“It’s taken about 10 years to get to this point,” Fletcher said. “I’ve been with the city for about eight and a half, so a lot of work to get this point, obviously, but it’s very exciting to think about having a brand new farmers market in roughly a year.”

A rendering of the renovations for the Kalamazoo Farmers Market (courtesy Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation department)

While construction is underway, the market has moved to the Mayors’ Riverfront Park, located at 251 Mills St.

There are plans to eventually add a playground and an event building to the market.

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