March 24, 2010, 8:00AM
GRAND RAPIDS — A dilapidated produce distribution center at the southern end of downtown could become a hub of commerce for local farmers, food makers and artisans as part of a $27 million urban market concept unveiled Wednesday.
Grand Action, the private group that led efforts to build the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place, said it would forge ahead with plans to develop an urban market offering space for vendors to create and sell a variety of foods and other goods.
The market also is envisioned as an educational facility with a greenhouse, demonstration kitchen and meeting rooms that will help people better understand local food systems while teaching about healthier eating.
The preferred location is the 3.5-acre former Sonneveldt Produce Co. complex, 435 Ionia Ave. SW. The site is visible from U.S. 131, south of Wealthy Street.