Project will include new and renovated vendor sheds, a new restroom building, and new parking lots.
On April 5, the Kalamazoo City Commission approved bids and $4.2 million of Capital Improvement Project bond funding for an improvement project to renovate the Kalamazoo Farmers Market. Construction is expected to begin in late April and take approximately a year to complete.
The project will add new vendor space on the Market’s western edge and renovate the existing vendor sheds. A new restroom and office building will be built, more than doubling the number of restroom facilities and adding a family restroom. A performance stage will also be added to expand the Market’s entertainment options.
As part of the project, Bank Street will be realigned at the intersection with Lake Street. This will create additional room for parking on the north side of the market, and parking areas will be paved on both sides of the Market.
The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail will also be connected to the Market. It will be extended from where it currently ends at the south end of Upjohn Park along Lake Street to Bank Street. The trail will continue south through the Market and along Reed Court. New bike racks will also be installed at the market.
“The Farmers Market is such a beloved asset in our community,” noted Sean Fletcher, Parks & Recreation Director for the City of Kalamazoo, “and with this investment we can really realize its potential and offer our community an even better experience with more vendors, more entertainment, more local goods, and more opportunities for local growers and makers.”
While this project is underway, the Farmers Market will temporarily relocate to Mayors’ Riverfront Park (251 Mills Street) for the 2021 market season. Signs will be installed at the Bank Street site advising shoppers of this temporary change.
In addition to funding from the City’s Capital Improvement Project, the project was also awarded $2.2 million by the Foundation for Excellence. Additional funding was provided by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Consumers Energy.
Planning is underway to add a playground and event building at the Market in the future.
“We appreciate the community support that this project has received, and the flexibility of market-goers and vendors this year. We’re excited to see you at Mayors’ Riverfront Park this year, and at an even better Bank Street Market in 2022.”