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Electric Works, farmers markets seek input on public market

(Photo Supplied/Greater Fort Wayne Inc.)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The developers behind the Electric Works project are seeking public input on the project.

Leaders of Fort Wayne’s downtown farmers’ markets and the developers of Electric Works are looking for feedback from area residents to help guide planning for a new year-round public market at the former GE campus.

The new location will provide open-air and enclosed spaces to accommodate both the summer farmers’ market at Barr Street and the winter market at Parkview Field. The online survey will be available for resident input until June 15. The 10-minute survey is available here.

“The public market is a key element of Electric Works because it will provide a unique community gathering space where local residents and visitors can buy foods grown and produced in northeast Indiana from local entrepreneurs,” said Jeff Kingsbury, a partner in RTM Ventures, which is leading the public-private development effort. “The envisioned public market builds on the success of the city’s farmers’ markets by providing an improved home for the outdoor farmers’ market while also providing indoor spaces for vendors who want temporary or permanent retail facilities.”

Results from the survey will be analyzed by Market Ventures, Inc. of Portland, Maine, a firm that specializes in the planning and development of public markets. Market Ventures was hired by Electric Works to ensure that the Fort Wayne public market meets local needs and is informed by the experiences of the country’s iconic public markets. Market Ventures led the planning effort for the award-winning Grand Rapids Downtown Market and Milwaukee Public Market.

“Community input is critical because the public market could take various forms with a wide variety of potential vendors,” said Ted Spitzer, President of Market Ventures, Inc. “The resident survey will help ensure that the public market at Electric Works reflects what people in the community are looking for.”

All members of the Fort Wayne community are encouraged to take the survey regardless of whether they shop regularly at farmers’ markets. The survey is expected to be complete by June 15, 2018.

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