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Friday, 18 May 2012 11:23

GR market projects reach new phases

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GR market projects reach new phases Courtesy photo
GRAND RAPIDS — As one of the city's market construction projects wraps up its initial phase, another one begins to take shape.

That was the message from architect Ted Lott of Lott3Metz and Craig Nicely, principal and architect for Design Plus, at the River to Markets forum held at the Wealthy Theater in early May.

Lott, whose firm designed the Fulton Street Farmers Market, said before the redevelopment occurred, the group needed to address several key issues to enhance the current space.

Working off a report from the New York-based group Project for Public Places, the market's board decided, among other features, to improve circulation and add a public plaza to the facility, Lott said. Many attributes of the new market were based off a thorough investigation of early roman basilicas, he said.

Tim Marcus, project manager for Rockford Construction Company Inc., said the Fulton Street Farmers Market needs to raise an additional $225,000 to finish construction. However, the market is now open. A formal ribbon cutting occurred May 5.

Diane Griffin, chairperson for the expansion project's capital campaign, said the organization is experiencing a nice push in donations as of late. When MiBiz spoke with Griffin, she said a recent fundraiser produced $1,600.

"We're taking small steps, but we'll just keep plugging away," she said.

Griffin said she doesn't have a definitive timetable for raising the rest of the funds, but she hopes to wrap up the campaign within a few months. She said those interested in donating to the project could give at www.ourgoodnessis growing.org or at the market when it's open.

There is currently an eight-year waiting list for vendor stalls at FSFM.

Across town, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, formerly known as the Urban Market project, is now under construction.

Chris Muller of M Retail Solutions, is handling the leases for retail and restaurant space at the market.
Muller, who is also spearheading the Grand Rapids Whitewater project — which was also discussed at the event, said while nothing is signed yet, he is speaking with several local restaurateurs and artisan retailers.

"Our goal is to really have a majority of the retailers be local," Muller said. "There are great artisans around the community that are perfect for the market, whose wares are not being displayed in any store front right now."

The market is seeking LEED Silver certification and will feature several sustainable design features, including a geothermal well system and an 8,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system that will feed the market's greenhouse irrigation.

Earlier this month, the market's board announced it was searching for a president/CEO and had contracted a third party, Okemos-based Hiring Solution LLC, for the task. No update on the process was available as MiBiz went to press.

The Downtown Market is slated to open July 1, 2013, Nicely said. Work on structural steel is slated to begin in matter of weeks, he said. Private fundraising for the $28 million project is also still ongoing.

Read 1308 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2012 17:15

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