INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Council members tonight saw three options proposed for the new Farmers Market located just off the Square in Downtown. The design team comprised of McCown Gordon Construction, Hollis+Miller Architects, and SKW Engineers developed the options from community input gathered at public forums earlier this fall. The options range in price from lowest at $2.17 million to highest at $3.3 million.
“We are excited to share the continued progress of this project with the citizens of Independence,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “We have heard from many of you the desire to have a permanent structure that allows for greater use year-round. The three options we looked at today are a big step toward that dream, and the community support we have received in raising funds for this effort has been stupendous.”
Option one or the base option is a free-standing steel enclosed building with brick accents and glass roller doors on the outside. Parking lot and infrastructure improvements for the entire site are included in this project proposal. Total construction on this option would be an estimated $2.17 million.
Option two builds upon the base option and adds amenities including indoor bathrooms and a catering kitchen with increased parking lot improvements. The estimated cost of this option is $2.9 million.
Finally, option three includes all of the amenities of option two with the addition of an open structure to the east of the enclosed Farmers Market Building. The estimated cost of this option is $3.3 million.
In July, the Council committed $600,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. The Independence Rotary Club entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City to raise up to $400,000 to support the project.
The Council gave direction by consensus to finalize the design for all three options but to bid the extra amenities in options two and three as project alternates.
“With the funds already committed and other one-time sources, I am confident that we can deliver an exceptional Farmers Market to the community with option one,” City Manager Zach Walker said. “Bidding other amenities as alternates gives us time to work with our partners and determine if additional donations or in-kind support can be generated to offset the costs of project upgrades.”
The design will be finalized and ready for bid toward the end of the year. Construction will begin in early spring for an anticipated opening in mid-Summer 2018.
“We are working hard to fast track this project for a grand opening before the 2018 Santa-Cali-Gon Festival,” Mayor Weir said.
Council members will now consider the options and work with City staff to determine what is realistic within the current budget. In addition, the Independence Rotary Club is holding a Mardi Gras Fundraiser on Saturday, February 17, 2018, to raise funds for the efforts. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact the Rotary at Treasurer.Rotary.IndepMO@hotmail.com. Look for ticket and event information to come. Donations to the project may be made to the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, City of Independence Farmers Market Fund, 4200 Little Blue Parkway, Independence, Mo. 64055. Donations can be made online at www.thcf.org.