Proposed infrastructure improvements for the Ann Arbor Farmers Market focus on a new market structure to expand vendor stall capacity year-round. The project is intended to improve the experience for all users as the market evolves, continues to provide a critical outlet for local food and serves as a central community gathering space throughout the year. The market project first identified in the City's Capital Improvement Plan highlighted the need to improve winter capacity at the Farmers Market. This project is intended to realize improved stall space for the market's vendors in all seasons. The project reflects the priorities of the Public Market Advisory Commission, which has advocated for the expansion and improvement of market infrastructure for winter purposes. Parks & Recreation Services is committed to improving this park space within the downtown area of the City of Ann Arbor. Feedback and questions can be sent directly to the Public Market Advisory Commission, firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails regarding the project will filed as part of the public record for this project.
The Market Infrastructure Improvement Project site plan was approved by City Council in August 2016 and the construction contract was put out for bid in September. Bids received significantly exceeded the cost estimate. A total project budget had been identified as $875,000.00, comprised of various funding sources. The low bid for the construction portion of the project came in at almost $1,200,000.00. Staff met with the low bidder to explore opportunities for lowering the contract amount while retaining the integrity of the project. While some progress was made, the total project budget for construction, design, contingency, and construction oversight resulted in a total project budget of approximately $1,375,000.00, equating to a shortfall of approximately $500,000.00 in funding.
Staff worked to identify additional funds to close this gap. The Public Market Advisory Commission supported the use of an additional $100,000.00 from the market’s available designated funds at their meeting in October. Additional developer contributions earmarked for downtown parks were identified to contribute additional funding to the market project, but not all of these funds have been received yet. The Downtown Development Authority is further evaluating its contribution to the parking lot improvements that were incorporated into this project with the aim of providing additional financial support but any such funding would not be available until fiscal year FY2018. As such, funds are not currently available to move the project forward. Consequently, staff recommends delaying the project.
The project’s site plan is approved for a three-year period, and current funds for the project will remain available for when the project can begin. Delaying the project at this time provides staff the opportunity not only to identify additional funding, but to rebid the project and explore other opportunities for potential cost savings. From a construction schedule standpoint the timing for work this year is becoming tight, even if funding were available, so a delay will allow construction to begin earlier in the fall next construction season decreasing the potential for final stages of construction to cause negative operational impacts at the beginning of the following spring season when work would be scheduled for completion.
Upcoming Public Meetings
Project information is shared at the regular meetings of the Public Market Advisory Commission. Meetings will be held in City Council Chambers on the Second Floor of City Hall, 301 E. Huron Street, Ann Arbor, MI . All are welcome.
Public Market Advisory Commission, May 2015 - Use of Assigned Fund Balance of the General Fund for the Purpose of the Farmers Market Infrastructure Improvement Project
Public Market Advisory Commission, April 2016 - Support for Market Infrastructure Project Advancing to Design Review, Planning Commission, and City Council
Parks Advisory Commission, June 2016 - Support for the Farmers Market Infrastructure Improvement Project
City Planning Commission, July 2016 - Farmers Market Enclosure Site Plan and Landscape Modification Recommended for City Council Approval
City Council, August 2016 - Farmers Market Enclosure Site Plan Approved
The above elevation drawings reflect input from vendor and community operations committee members, the Public Market Advisory Commission, staff, the architect and engineers. Current estimates based upon vendor input provide for 36 stalls inside the new structure, providing 16 new stalls to the overall capacity of the market and 36 full-enclosed stalls for winter use.
Vendor & Community Operations Advisory Committees
The City of Ann Arbor Public Market Advisory Commission appointed members to two advisory committees to assess operational components of the Market Infrastructure Improvement project.
Market Infrastructure VOAC Charter Market Infrastructure COAC Charter
Vendor and Community Operations Advisory Committee recommendations:
VOAC Recommendations COAC Recommendations
Initial design concepts were presented at the July 23, 2015 Public Market Advisory Commission Meeting. Follow the link to view the video recording of the meeting and design presentation: Market Infrastructure Project Design Presentation - July 23, 2015 PMAC Meeting .
A single revised design concept was presented at the September 17, 2015 Public Market Advisory Commission Meeting. Follow the link to view the video recording of the meeting and design presentation: Market Infrastructure Project Revised Design Presentation - September 17, 2015 PMAC Meeting.
Market Infrastructure Process Document