Greenwood City Council got their first look at the much anticipated concept plans for the Uptown Greenwood farmer’s market.
The new market will have a train depot style and other features designed to draw visitors to Uptown Greenwood on more than just market days. The plans include an interactive splash pad which will be the only one of its kind in the Lakelands area. The market will also feature a plaza with tables and chairs, restrooms, space for 16 vendors with the capability to expand for 24 vendors and a raised berm for picnics that can also hold a stage for live musical performances.
City manager Charlie Barrineau took council through the entire process from early construction to completion. The new market is expected to be ready for the Spring 2015 season, with construction beginning as early as May.
The first phase of the project will be the Edgefield Street parking lot next to the Greenwood County Sherif’s Office. That parking lot will go from a gravel lot to fully landscaped lot which will have 77 parking spaces. The Edgefield Street parking lot will be completed in two phases so that the lot can continue to be used during construction. The project is scheduled to begin in March and the new parking lot should be completed before the Festival of Discovery begins July 10. Barrineau said the parking lot may not be fully completed before Greenwood’s annual barbecue festival, but will be to the point where cars can park in it by that time.
Following completion of the Edgefield Street parking lot, work will begin on the parking lot on Maxwell Avenue along with the market itself. The open-air market, which will be about 160’ long and 40’ wide, will have a way for vendors to bring trucks through the venue to facilitate those vendors who will sell out of the back of their trucks. Trucks will only be allowed on the back side away from Maxwell Avenue. The parking lot at the lower end of the market will have 48 spaces. Should additional parking be needed, another parking lot can be added on the other side of the restrooms.
The interactive splash pad will feature water sprayers arrayed in a circle which can produce a dome of water. There will also be three additional water sprayers in each quadrant of the circular part of the pad. There is also a smaller area which will have sprayers which can create an arch to walk under. On the other side of the interactive splash pad will be a raised berm where families can picnic. The berm can also hold a stage for live musical performances.
There are a number of additional features which can be added easily. Barrineau said garage-type doors could be added to enclose the market building. Additionally, a rain garden, kitchen, and arbors and swings could be added.
The price tag for the new market will be about $2.8 million, which will be taken entirely from hospitality tax funds. After the initial concept plans were completed, the project had a price tag of about $3.8 million. City staff worked with design firm Davis & Floyd to trim the budget by about $1 million. Barrineau told council that there will be about $2.4 million in hospitality tax funds which remain undesignated at the end of 2014. Rather than use all of the cash flow, Barrineau suggested council take out a hospitality tax revenue bond to fund the project. Council members agreed that, with an interest rate of just 1.35 percent for a three-year term, the bond would be the best avenue to take.
All members of council appeared amenable to the project, including those who expressed reservations about the new market in the past. Council is expected to take up the Edgefield Street parking lot project as well as the rest of the project at their regular meeting on March 17.
Click here to see the conceptual renderings of the Uptown Market!