Marketplace opening delayed

Marketplace opening delayed

ESCANABA — Escanaba residents will have to wait a little longer to experience the new addition to downtown.

The Escanaba Marketplace was originally going to be open on July 15th, but now the date is expected to be pushed back to around Labor Day. Completing all of the required steps in the application process for a Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant — which will cover a little under half of the million dollar price tag — led to the delay.

“Our vision of what that looked like was a little different from the MEDC, so we needed to get our visions to look the same and make sure that we could provide the information that they needed,” said Escanaba Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Ed Legault.

The Downtown Development Authority is also awaiting the MEDC’s approval to purchase the property on the corner of 15th and Ludington.

Updated estimates show that the project is going to cost a bit more than expected. The DDA is applying for some smaller grants to cover the difference, but the basic pavilion will be feasible with current funding.

“If we’re successful in fundraising over the next couple months, we’ll still be able to do the whole project all at once,” Legault added. “We probably have over 90 percent funded right now of the total vision of what we’d like to see.”

Many agencies in the City and County have voiced support for the project. In addition to being a new home for the Farmers Market, the Marketplace will be available for a number of events.