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Proposed New Downtown Market – 1996

Here’s an unbuilt one from more recent days. Despite this proposal dating to 1996, I do not remember this plan at all. With the eviction of the vendors from the old city market, with expiring leases in 1997, the city had proposed to build a combination parking garage, with retail space, east of City Hall.

The vendors were in two camps. The 28 larger businesses of the main floor, and those on the second floor and the produce growers and other smaller vendors. The vendors in whole had been keeping a united front about moving to the former Wyeth building on Ottawa & Walker.

In late March, 1996, City Council rejected the proposal and voted to approve the plan above and build a new market building in a parking garage, just east of City Hall. While the larger vendors wanted to stay downtown, the smaller vendors wanted to go to Ottawa Street. Ironically, it was the smaller vendors the city was targeting with the new garage location.

In the end, this proposal died, and the vendors relocated to Ottawa Street and Market Square, which today is a shadow of what it once was. In hindsight, it’s a shame this proposal didn’t make it, as it would have given a great home to the downtown farmer’s market and could have made a bigger impact on the area east of City Hall.

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