ESCANABA — Within the next year, Escanaba residents will have a new addition to their downtown area.
The former Northern Motors parking lot located on 15th and Ludington will soon become the Escanaba Marketplace. The lot is just under an acre and will harbor a large pavilion. The pavilion will be used to host several events including the Farmers Market.
“We also wanted to open it up to where we could have other events there,” said Escanaba DDA Executive Director Ed Legault, “we might have class reunions, you could have a company picnic, if you wanted to do a smaller outdoor wedding you could do that. We feel we can house the Farmers Market and probably 60 other events a season. It’ll be a gem for the community and something everyone will take a lot of pride in.”
In total, the project will cost just over $1,000,000. The Escanaba Downtown Development Authority will pay slightly over half of that, with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation paying the rest through a community development block grant.
“It’s a better venue for people to see it as they come into town, and it also solves all of our parking problems. It fills what would have been a huge gap in our downtown that might have been really hard to fill.”
Since word of this project has been out, Legault says several interested buyers in the adjacent Northern Motors building have emerged.
Work on the pavilion and surrounding property is expected to begin in the spring. The targeted opening date for the Escanaba Marketplace is July 15th.