Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

The Traverse City Downtown Enhancement Authority (DDA) is eyeing future steps for two big downtown initiatives: a potential redesign of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market and the design of a long-awaited civic sq. identified as Rotary Sq. at the corner of Union and Point out streets.

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DDA board customers will meet up with now (Friday) at 8:30am to take into consideration approving a $40,000 contract with consulting firm SmithGroup to build an up-to-date design and approximated building fees for redesigning the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market place. The organization will compile former research and style and design options – this kind of as $3 million in enhancements that were deemed in 2018 – with new enter from farmers, merchants, and other regional stakeholders, ultimately providing new renderings, cost estimates, and a web site strategy to the DDA.

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“This perform is an critical move ahead in analyzing a far more permanent house for the farmers current market and is an integral element of the all round Unified Program for the Reduced Boardman River,” DDA CEO Jean Derenzy wrote in a memo to board customers. “It is really critical that we fully grasp the requires of the sector and how these requirements align with the values of the local community, as well as how the marketplace ‘fits’ on this website. The time to decide the whole price tag to construct a sector house that has the ability to expand (when essential) is now.”

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Derenzy tells The Ticker that in spite of earlier design function now accomplished, the DDA requires to update plans to replicate the findings of the Lessen Boardman River Unified System examine. That analyze is underway now – the DDA held community input sessions Thursday at the Metropolis Opera Residence and will maintain an additional general public open up property on August 10 – and is envisioned to create a grasp system by the conclude of this yr that will manual improvement along the Boardman’s urban area.

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1 chance rising in the draft prepare is to transform parking up coming to the Traverse Link constructing together Grandview Parkway, or city parking Good deal D, into green parkland place together the river. In that state of affairs, the DDA could examine obtaining the farmers market place spread out from its existing area in Large amount B into Whole lot D as effectively, spacing out booths alongside the river on both of those sides of Cass Road. The DDA earlier cited possessing far more space for consumers and suppliers, a extra organized structure, overhead coverings to safeguard from the components, and a superior “event” and placemaking vibe that integrates the market and the river as sought after things of a redesign method.

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Board members will also consider approving a $13,130 deal with Nuart Signals nowadays to put in new signage at the farmers sector. The regular “blue awnings” that have lengthy served as a visual landmark for the marketplace downtown are in inadequate condition and have exceeded their lifespan, requiring substitution. Instead than shell out $3,000 to retain putting in awnings each and every spring, staff are recommending building new signals and putting them on existing candy-cane poles all over the farmers current market ton. The indicators are of a identical glimpse and feel as other downtown placemaking signs – which Nuart also designed – and can be relocated and utilised in what ever new area or layout the current market in the end occupies.

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Derenzy notes that SmithGroup will take into consideration other place solutions as portion of its marketplace strategy update, which include long-talked over web pages like the Open Room or the new downtown civic sq.. Rotary Square, as the urban oasis and local community gathering house will be identified as, will be positioned on the corner of Union and Point out streets where TCF/Huntington Lender (the two providers lately merged) is now situated. The bank initially experienced a offer to sell the home to the DDA for $1.75 million contingent on the DDA developing a new mixed-applied building across the road in Lot G, found future to Modes Bum Steer, that would home a new bank headquarters on the ground flooring and neighborhood workforce flats earlier mentioned.

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Nevertheless, adhering to Huntington’s acquisition of TCF, Derenzy suggests she lately received formal phrase from Huntington that the financial institution is no lengthier fascinated in a new department throughout the avenue. Instead, the financial institution will market its existing home outright to the DDA, with no further contingencies on a new creating. Derenzy states that will appreciably pace up the building timeline for Rotary Square, as the DDA was formerly committed to creating the new headquarters in advance of it could start demolition perform on the old bank building throughout the street.

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Now the DDA is targeting an October closing on the assets and can straight away commence afterward on design and style and design function. An estimated $750,000 that was earlier committed to the new blended-use constructing is also out there for improvement of Rotary Sq.. The DDA has a overall $3 million fully commited to the challenge, such as a $1 million reward from Rotary and a $2 million allocation from the state of Michigan. Derenzy states the DDA will possible begin a general public visioning procedure this tumble to design the new civic square makes use of proposed for the area have ranged from a wintertime ice skating rink and committed internet site for the downtown Christmas tree to a house for are living songs and general public performances to park facilities like benches and fountains. The DDA will also look for redevelopment proposals for Lot G as section of an ongoing effort and hard work to revitalize downtown surface parking plenty, but now has much more time and overall flexibility to get the job done with builders on a new creating and to open up up floor-ground options past a financial institution headquarters, Derenzy states.

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The accelerated timeline usually means numerous sizeable projects could be unfolding in downtown Traverse City around the following several many years, which include the completion of the Lessen Boardman River Unified Strategy, the building of Rotary Sq., the redesign of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Sector, and – based on the final result of pending legal motion – the building of FishPass at the Union Road Dam web site. These placemaking tasks are in addition to many bridge and avenue reconstruction initiatives underway, as properly as combined-use and housing growth.

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“It’s truly all linked,” states Derenzy. “As we’re wanting at infill development, we’re not forgetting about parking, possibly. They all are significant and participate in a significant function downtown. There are quite a few public infrastructure projects we’re on the lookout at ideal now.”