SOURCE: Pike Place Market

Richmond Public Relations

June 24, 2015 19:36 ET

Pike Place Market MarketFront Groundbreaking Ceremony

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - June 24, 2015) - The world-famous Pike Place Market celebrated a milestone 40 years in the making today with a colorful parade lead by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray through Pike Place Market and to the groundbreaking of the "MarketFront," a multi-level expansion to the west of the existing historic public market, established in 1907. Scheduled to open in early 2017, the $73 million project will provide: 30,000 square feet of additional public space, including a public plaza with views of Puget Sound; additional rooftop day stalls for farmers, craftspeople, and artisan food purveyors; low-income housing for seniors; 300 public parking spaces; and a future pedestrian connection to the waterfront.

"Pike Place Market is the heart and soul of Seattle," said Mayor Ed Murray from the stage, located next to the exposed foundation of the former Municipal Market, which was demolished in 1974. "Soon Seattle will have a new front porch to welcome people in. The City is proud to be a major contributor to MarketFront, which will include more affordable housing, open public space and a new connection to the waterfront."

Festivities began at 12:45 p.m. with a parade along Pike Place featuring a drum line from Ballard High School and Mayor Ed Murray leading the boisterous parade down the cobblestone street. Farmers, artists, fishmongers and merchants were joined by children from the Pike Market Preschool and Childcare and afternoon shoppers. The parade led to the future MarketFront site on Western Avenue, the last parcel of the Market Historic District to be developed.

Ben Franz-Knight, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA), welcomed the parade into the site, a surface parking lot for the last 40 years, where he was joined by City Council members and state officials. He then introduced Chief Seattle Club Executive Director Colleen Echohawk and Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman, who performed a ground blessing ceremony.

After remarks by the Mayor, PDA Council Chair Matt Hanna and a rousing "Pike Up!" cheer by Lillian Sherman, Executive Director of the Market Foundation, the Pike Up! Flag was raised to the Desimone Bridge, the future entry way to the MarketFront Plaza. The Mayor, lead architect of the MarketFront, David Miller, of The Miller Hull Partnership, and Scott Redmond, president of Sellen Construction, joined Ben Franz-Knight and Lillian Sherman in the first ceremonial groundbreaking of the expansion.

The City of Seattle is contributing $34 million to the development of the MarketFront, which represents nearly half of the project's total $73 million cost. The City is also conveying to the Market a surface parking lot where the project will be built. The Seattle Housing Levy is funding $1.4 million to help develop the 40 units of low-income senior housing in MarketFront. The PDA funded the initial exploratory design concepts along with support from the City of Seattle. Additional funding comes from the WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct Parking Mitigation Funds, PDA equity and debt, low income housing tax credits, grants and new market tax credits.

The Market Foundation has launched Pike Up!, a $9 million capital campaign launched to help fund the MarketFront project. For the first time in 20 years, Market supporters have the opportunity to engrave a name or message into Pike Place Market history through Market Charms, which will hang on the new MarketFront as an art installation, or bronze Piggybank Hoofprints, leading to the MarketFront Plaza. Learn more:

For a press kit on the MarketFront, visit here. For video on the MarketFront, visit here. For additional images of the MarketFront and groundbreaking celebration, visit here.

Pike Place Market is Seattle's original farmers market, founded in 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the U.S. The market operates within a 9 acre historic district and is a bustling neighborhood of hundreds of vendors, residents and businesses, including farmers, craftspeople, independent shops, buskers, and residents, many of whom are low-income seniors, and five social service agencies.

The Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) is a not-for-profit, public corporation chartered by the City of Seattle in 1973 to manage the properties in the nine-acre Market Historic District. The PDA is required to preserve, rehabilitate and protect the Market's buildings, increase opportunities for farm and food retailing in the Market, incubate and support small and marginal businesses, and provide services and affordable housing for low-income people.

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