Knight Foundation donates $250k for Eastern Market development



The nonprofit that manages Eastern Market near downtown announced today a plan to "update and enhance" the adjacent district with the help of a $250,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

“As part of Detroit’s history and central core, Eastern Market is already playing a big role in its revitalization,” says Katy Locker, Knight Foundation program director for Detroit, in a statement. “This recharged development strategy will ensure that all of the district’s stakeholders are included in its growth and enhancement. It will also focus on preserving the history of the district, while taking into account new opportunities and the interests of adjacent neighborhoods.”

The funding will be used to plan and assemble a team with the nonprofit, Eastern Market Corp., to update a development strategy for the market and its adjacent district, which was first crafted in 2008, a news release says, which will take "into account Detroit's changing landscape and city-wide revitalization efforts."

Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp. says the district's redevelopment strategy is "critical," as the market approaches its 125th anniversary in 2016. 

“While we have enjoyed recent growth, the pace of investment is likely to accelerate in the coming years and we need a framework that allows us to maintain our authenticity as a working food district while welcoming new uses," Carmody says in a statement. "Vigorous engagement of the district’s many stakeholders is essential for the development of a plan that will lead to successful implementation.”

The nonprofit says it will convene a task force that includes local residents "to guide the process and ensure the historic authenticity of the district is kept intact." 

In the end, the redevelopment project will create a district that's a "denser, more populated hub for food production, processing and distribution, as well as increase retail businesses and jobs," the release says. 

Eastern Market, which has been slinging fresh food and delicious produce since the early-1890s, draws more than 2 million visitors per year. 

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