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BostonianinGR

Farmer's Market Idea

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I think the farmer's market is perhaps one of the best attractions that GR has to offer. I wonder if there is someway that the city can capitalize on it more. It would be nice if they could extend it to include all-weather facilities along the lines of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia (). I belive the farmer's market in Ann Arbot also has something along these lines.

The market could include local produce, local/Amish crafts. Perhaps the RAPID could have frequent buses to the market on market days to make it more transportation friendly.

Any thoughts, comments, criticisms???????

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I agree, Bostonian! I was very excited about the proposal to construct an urban famer's market facility by Wealthy and 131. It would have been located just steps from the RAPID Central Station and would have included, among other anchors, a brewary. It seems, unfortunately, that this plan is dead. Anyone know otherwise?

Here are some (small) images from Design Plus:

UrbanMarketElevationFull.jpg

UrbanMarketElevationWealthyEnd.jpg

UrbanMarketPlan.jpg

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I'd never heard of this plan! it's definitely something GR needs.

The fact that Holland and Kalamazoo both have larger, better farmers markets was a dissapointment to us when we moved here.

I've been to Ann Arbor's (outstanding), and Eastern Market in Detroit (like nothing else in Michigan), as well as Madision, Wisconsin's (on the capital square, wonderful).

GR's pales in comparison to all those, but given the amount of farmland within an hour of GR, I've never figured out why.

Heck, when we lived in Kalamazoo, Otto's chicken used to drive down there. They're in Middleville! That's easily 20 minutes closer to the GR farmer's market than it is to the Kzoo one, but they were always down there. Haven't seen them up here yet. :(

I think moving the market (or adding one) in the heart of downtown makes good sense.

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We Metro Grand Rapidians prefer to buy our fresh produce at D and W or Family Fare. The food isn't even grown here and that adds to our sophisication.

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I think the centralisation of the market will give it a major boost. Remember the 3 Ls. I think I heard its somewhere east of DT? I don't know, I've never been there nor seen it. Never even heard of it until a year ago. In a more centralised location like in the proposal, it will grab more people's attention and get the publicity it needs. It can also provide a decent variety of groceries and such for the growing DT population... where there are no D&Ws and Meijers.

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I definitely think it's the current location of the Farmer's Market. It feels like a neighborhood market vs. a regional attraction.

I say move it! :D Check out Holland's 8th Street Market for another great example.

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My wife and I drove from Jenison to Holland on Saturday just to go to the farmers market. The new canopies, parking and live music have really added to the market. And what awsome fruits and veggies. My kids like to go just to get the free samples of jerky and bread.

I like the Fulton St. Market but something in the central city would with canopies for inclement weather would be great.

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I heard there was going to be a new farmers market at Fuller and _____ (I cant remember) Anyone else heard?

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The Midtown Neighborhood Association is working on creating an area specific plan for the Brikyaat Neighborhood that includes the Farmers Market. One of the primary elements that came out of the charrette for this project was an expanded farmers market. Currently the design team is working on a detailed plan of what could happen at this expanded farmers market.

As part of the charrette process, a mini-work session was done for just stakeholders in the farmers market, including many of the people who sell at the market currently. Almost universally, the general feeling is that the market needs to expand and begin to operate year round. It was also determined that a building would be needed to allow for other ammenities, including possibly a retail presence and a demonstration kitchen.

There was a separate thread about this months ago that showed some of the plans for the area at that time.

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Would this be a private business or would the city own the farmer's market and lease out space? Does anyone know how we can get this market up and running?

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Would this be a private business or would the city own the farmer's market and lease out space? Does anyone know how we can get this market up and running?

I believe the Holland one is owned by the city and then vendors rent spaces. Here's are a couple of pics from the City of Holland site:

Farmers-Market.jpg

197204076_71690641db_o.jpg

I think they basically took that section of 8th Street near the Civic Center and vacated it. Surprisingly, it's only open Wednesdays and Saturday, except for special events.

You'd have to scope out a couple of small connector streets downtown GR that have city-owned land adjacent to it to do something similar.

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Here ya go: The Trowbridge Marketplace, on the City-owned lot along the riverfront and Monroe North

197222619_ba033e3279_o.jpg

That would give people at the convention center and hotels a REASON to walk North along the riverwalk. ;)

Any other city-owned lots that might work well?

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That sounds like a good location with the Boardwalk and and about 5 condo developments coming along within walking distance. I'm not sure why convention goers would care about a farm market though.

-nb

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That sounds like a good location with the Boardwalk and and about 5 condo developments coming along within walking distance. I'm not sure why convention goers would care about a farm market though.

-nb

Well they bus convention goers out to Meijer Gardens and Rivertown Crossings (which is not any different from any other regional mall around the country). This would offer another sight for them to see and stay downtown. Especially with all the "folksy" groups that book Devos Place, like the Handweavers Guild.

The problem with the riverwalk in front of Devos Place now is that there is no "destination" going North (and no crossing markers at Michigan) so very few people use it even though it is quite nice.

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The problem with the riverwalk in front of Devos Place now is that there is no "destination" going North (and no crossing markers at Michigan) so very few people use it even though it is quite nice.

Maybe they want people to cross the Grand at Michigan and go the the park on the west side. This would make a loop if you crossed the Grand at Fulton and at Michigan. It would be nice when they move the post office and make the walk continue up to Riverside or at least to the Boardwalk area of Monroe North.

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It would be nice when they move the post office and make the walk continue up to Riverside or at least to the Boardwalk area of Monroe North.

It does already. :thumbsup: On the East bank, it's continuous from Fulton to Canal Park (except for the portions temporarily closed near the Marriott). On the West bank, it goes from Fulton all the way to 6th Street Bridge uninterrupted. Check it out.

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That sounds like a good location with the Boardwalk and and about 5 condo developments coming along within walking distance. I'm not sure why convention goers would care about a farm market though.

-nb

Wow!!!

All I can say is that I'm pleasantly surprised by all the enthusiasm about my post (especially since I'm a bit of a new comer to GR).

Regarding convention goers caring about a farmer's market. You are right, if its just a farmers market not too many people will be interested. That's why I think it should be more than a straightforward farmers market : more like Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market (see the link from my orignial post). The market should be year round, fully covered WITH the standard outdoor section as in Holland's market. It should include local handicrafts and other things that out of towners may want to pick up to take home.

I think that's the only way to make it viable.

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That sounds like a good location with the Boardwalk and and about 5 condo developments coming along within walking distance. I'm not sure why convention goers would care about a farm market though.

-nb

Depends on what else is there. Faneuil Hall, the Inner Harbor, Public Market draw much more than just produce buyers. Convention-goers like to wander around and see interesting things, and anymore travelers like to go for a walk or run to burn off the trade show fog.

Ypsi (city) owns the former depot freighthouse. On weekends it's a market, other times it's a huge rustic rental facility.

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IS there any more industrial conversions yet to be snatched up on North Monroe?

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I'm biased, since I live within walking distance of the Fulton Street Market, but I really like the idea of keeping it where it's at with enhancements, such as year-round facilities and (hate to say it but it's true if you want more people to come) better parking. While I would not hate seeing a downtown market, I just feel that a neighborhood one makes it seem more user-friendly, and also increases foot traffic in the area. (Nothing like stopping at Van's on your way to the market ). I think everyone would agree that something should be done. Not like we have a bad Farmer's Market, I can get just about whatever I need, but I think for a city of this size, we can do better.

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Has anyone been to the new, smaller markets on Saturdays in Alger Heights and on Franklin-Fuller?

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