New City Market

22 05 2008

The Lansing State-Journal is reporting today that the city has struck a deal with East Lansing developer Pat Gillespie to sell the current Lansing City Market site and turn the site into shops, offices, and residential.  Gillespie is also responsible for the Stadium District building on Michigan Ave. not far from this site.

But what does this mean for the City Market?  A new building which is about four thousand square feet SMALLER than the current City Market.  On top of that, vendors will now have to pay for their utilities. 

This doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.  The time I was at the Market, space wasn’t an issue, so loosing four thousand square feet may not be a big deal, but charging vendors more will surely drive people away.  Of course, not everyone is totally on board with the plan.

It’s unclear what kind of reception the plan will get from market vendors and users.

Some want a new building, but there’s a contingent that wants to keep the existing market, said Diane Thompson, president of the Friends of the Market, a group of market supporters.

Advocates for the market also are pushing for a new business plan and management structure for the facility.

“We feel there’s a lot of issues that still need to be addressed,” Thompson said, urging city officials to hold off on selling the market.

The city council has to approve the sale before this becomes final.  The deal will be on file at with the city clerk soon and it will be 30 days after that before the Council can vote.  The current building, built in 1938, would not be razed until the new market is built.  The hope is to have the new building open by summer of 2009

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