Lansing market reopens following recent move
After four different buildings and more than 100 years of business to its name, the Lansing City Market has found a newer, more appropriate home.
With 71 years in its building at 333 N. Cedar St., the market has traveled across the parking lot to 325 City Market Drive, in a move that market manager John Hooper said definitely was a necessary one.
“The design was what I considered faulty for a true urban market, and the building was very energy inefficient,” Hooper said. “Also, a developer made a proposition to the city, for that land, and we thought it was a good thing to continue development downtown.”
Last Saturday, the market introduced its new building to the public when it hosted its soft opening, where only vendors that were available set up shop.
The market had not been open since Christmas Eve — when it closed down its old building for good.
Despite the fact that only about half of the market’s 35 vendors were opening, shoppers made a strong showing at the event, Hooper said.
“We had an incredible response,” Hooper said. “We had people through here all day long, it was really hard to even walk down the aisle sometimes. Some of my vendors had their best day ever.”
The market, which was founded in 1909, provides area residents with fresh produce and other products that can be found at similar grocery stores and markets but uses its vendors to set it apart from its competitors by offering much more than traditional products.
“I come for the plants and produce,” Perry, Mich. resident Denise Glarner said. “(But) you can also get a cup of coffee, a bouquet or a piece of jewelry, all while shopping for an orange.”
Vendors that use the market as a place to sell their product are more than happy to take advantage of its year-round availability.
“We are normally seasonal, but this provides an outlet all year long,” owner of Sweet Seasons Orchard in Concord Nan Jasinowski said. “It’s more than a farmer’s market.”
Many shoppers enjoy having a place such as the market to come to during the cold and snowy season.
“I love coming here in the winter to cheer me up and see what is going to go up in my garden,” Portland, Mich. resident Shery Spedoske said. “I come to look and get excited.”
Although not a farmer’s market or a traditional grocery outlet, Hooper said the move was vital to maintain the specializations it has, while still keeping it open year-round.
“We are not a farmer’s market and there is a clear distinction there,” Hooper said. “Farmer’s markets are open once a week and vendors come in and set up and tear down. We are a true urban market along the lines of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Boston Market and Pike Place in Seattle.”
With about 11,000 square feet of space, the new building is not yet bigger than the old one.
However, Hooper said that things will change once the project is complete.
“After the construction is done, it will be much better,” Hooper said.
“We will have the ability to move outside, where we have more than three to four thousand square feet of outdoor space. We also have the ability to build a mezanine level, making it much bigger than the old building.”