Rain or shine, Saturday mornings in summer are for the farmers market. It’s been that way for more than a decade and a little construction isn’t going to put to end to that: when the framing for a new co-operative living development goes up at the Harbor District next spring, the New Mound Farmers Market & More has the city’s assurances that it can still operate unhindered.
Mound council resolved April 13 that the city will ensure access to and space for the market thorughout construction, expected to last through the 2022 season.
“For all the parties involved it would be basically suicidal to cast [the market] aside and not allow space and say, ‘sorry not this year.’ That’s not the intent whatsoever and that’s not what’s going to happen and we’re going to do everything we can,” said Mound Mayor Ray Salazar.
Council member Sherrie Pugh had suggested the impromptu resolution during final approval of the city’s development agreement with Lifestyle Communities. Lifestyle is building a 52-unit, age-restricted co-op in the Harbor District.
The New Mound Farmers Market & More has typically spread out from late May to early October on the pavement next to Minnesota Lakes Bank and behind the Mound TrueValue and is accessed primarily by the short jut of street called old Shoreline Drive (not County Road 15). That street is included in 2.4 acres being purchased by Lifestyle and is intended as a staging area during construction.
Last Tuesday’s resolution put promises to print for the second time regarding the market and the co-op development. Early in December, council had amended the Conditional Use Permit it granted Lifestyle so that it specifically included the market as a stakeholder in determining the surrounding use of space. That amendment, too, had been suggested by Pugh.
Support for the farmers market, as in December, was unanimous April 13. But when it came to the development itself, council members trued their votes last Tuesday with those they had taken previously in the project’s history. Council finalized the city’s development agreement with Lifestyle by a 3-1 margin, with council member Paula Larson voting against. Larson also supplied the lone “nay” vote when council extended the closing date for the property out to Sept. 30 of this year. Council member Phil Velsor was absent April 13.
The co-op development has since last year undergone a slight branding change, from “Zvago” to “Artessa,” as result of Ecumen, the other party in Lifestyle’s partnership, choosing to move away from co-operative living projects, said Ben Landhauser, vice president of development for Lifestyle. Landhauser said that very little would change in the concept for the Mound project.
A revised timeline given by Lifestyle puts the groundbreaking on the new co-op in January with the first above-ground work to begin about a year from now. Presale of units is expected to begin later this year.
A little closer on the horizon, though, is this year’s opening of the New Mound Farmers Market & More. Organizers of the market posted on Facebook that it will open May 22.