LEPFA president shares plan for historic Lansing City Market
By Brooke Kansier
LANSING CITY PULSE — June 17, 2015
It may still be called the City Market, but farmers will no longer be driving its identity under a new plan being shaped by city officials.
“People still identify it as a farmers market, but really, the elements inside have changed,” said Scott Keith, president and CEO of the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, which runs the market.
“It’s not a farmers market anymore,” Keith said. “We have elements of that, but that’s not its core.”
Keith called what’s coming an “urban market,” with more emphasis on eateries, prepared foods, specialty food stands and possibly a brewpub to complement the already successful Waterfront Bar & Grill. Some, like the ever popular Hills Home-Cured Cheese and the new Iorio’s Gelateria will stay. It will also feature more eateries along the lines of already established Red’s Smokehouse and For Crepe Sake.
The concept is a work in progress now, but Keith said market patrons should see a full transformation within the next two or three years. He cited similar, successful markets in cities like Grand Rapids as models for the transformation.
“We have to be something different,” said Gus Pine, LEPFA vice president of sales and marketing. “What we want to create is a destination that, first, our locals are interested in, because once your locals are interested in things, your tourists become interested. It becomes an authentic piece of coming and visiting the city.”