PRCA News

Farmers Market to Move as the Downtown Bo Diddley Community Plaza Closes for Renovations

12/18/2014

The City of Gainesville is closing the downtown Bo Diddley Community Plaza for renovation tentatively beginning March 1, 2015. Work to refurbish the plaza should be complete in 12 months. Scheduled events and programs that regularly occur at the plaza will be unable to use the facility during the renovation period, including the Union Street Farmers Market, which operates at the plaza Wednesday afternoons.

An cross-disciplinary team of city staff members working in coordination with farmers market representatives reviewed several locations to find alternative programming space for the market and other possible events and programs within the downtown area. Based on available space needs, feedback from farmers market representatives and city staff, city-owned parking lot no. 10, which is bounded by Southwest Second Street, Southwest First Avenue, Southwest First Street and Southwest Second Avenue was selected as the best alternative location.

The city is currently conducting a process to solicit interest in the future development of lot no. 10; however, plaza renovations are expected to be complete and events relocated back to the plaza before lot no. 10 would need to be vacated for possible development. Lot no. 10 will require some preparation work to enable its use for events and programming, including access to electrical hookups for vendors and minor maintenance, such as tree trimming and general clean-up.

Public restrooms are available at the Southwest Downtown Parking Garage adjacent to lot no. 10 and will be open and staffed from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday, beginning Jan. 1, 2015. On Wednesdays, they will be available throughout the time the Union Street Farmers Market is available. No street closings are anticipated during the farmers market because lot no. 10 appears large enough to contain the event. Public parking is available on streets adjacent to the site.

Lot no. 10 is currently used by government agencies, by special permitted use and by valet parking. Agencies currently using the lot will be asked to make other parking arrangements. Special permits expire at the end of February. Valet parking has been a permitted use of lot no. 10 after hours, and they will be notified of the new use of for this lot.

For more information about this release, please contact City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Steven R. Phillips at 352-393-8755 or phillipssr@cityofgainesville.org.



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