SOUTH ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) - More than 250 people who showed up at the 9th Street Abbey for an open house on Wednesday night. It’s the first time locals were able to check out the master plan the City of St. Louis has to improve the Soulard Farmers Market.
The improvements will cost about 14 million dollars. The money will be used to fix the infrastructure and parking. Along with a plan to install interchangeable doors to keep the market open in the winter and on Sundays. Vendor Dan Wright says the move is great for business. He's been selling natural foods and soaps at Soulard for more than 4 years.
"Just the structural maintenance repairs better lighting, paint electric plumbing all that is bring more crowds down here.
I definitely think we can upscale it standardize it would help a lot. Which this is proposing a lot of. “Said vendor Dan Wright.
City officials say the project will be funded by parks bonds and private sponsorships. It could take from 5 to 10 years to complete. The steering committee says it took more than a year to come up with a final plan. They also say the conversion of the gym into a dining hall along with other changes. St Louis city official Gary Bess and project manager Jo Emerick say it will make the market more competitive.
"There's I believe 14 farmers markets within a 10 mile radius of Soulard right now. 15 years ago there were none in this area." said Bess
"We got community engagement we had online survey that got a wonderful response about 11 hundred vendor focus group and vendor meetings." said Enwright
So far there are 90 Soulard Market vendors and those numbers are expected to stay the same. The only difference will be the mix of vendors. The planning commission is expected to make a final decision in the next 60 days. Work on the project could start next fall. No word on rent or policy changes.
I think we're underutilized you cannot get or eat better cheaper than Soulard Market." said Wright.