Nfld. & Labrador

Construction set to begin on new home for farmers' market by end of summer

The new St. John's market took a major step forward Monday after city council awarded the construction contract.

St. John's city council awards $2.4 million contract to Redwood Construction

An artist's conception of what the St. John's Farmers' Market space will look like once the old Metrobus depot is renovated. St. John's city council Monday awarded a $2.4-million contract to Redwood Construction to begin the work. (St. John's Farmers' Market)

The new St. John's market took a major step forward Monday after city council awarded the construction contract.

Councillors approved the tender going to Redwood Construction, whose $2.4 million bid was the lowest of 10 submitted, coming in under the $3 million budgeted for the project, which is getting funding from all three levels of government.

The old Metrobus depot on Freshwater Road is being renovated to house the St. John's Farmers' Market, which long ago outgrew its current location at the Lions Club near Bonaventure Avenue. Construction is expected to begin by the end of the summer.

This is the end point of ... five years of work between us and the City of St. John's, funders, and all the community members who donated.- Joshua Smee

Coun. Tom Hann said the project has the full support of the neighbourhood.

"We had a neighbourhood meeting a few weeks ago, and I think 40 to 50 people showed up and there wasn't one objection," he said. "Everybody was welcoming the redevelopment of the old Metrobus building and the fact that we would be using it for a good project."

Joshua Smee, chairman of the Farmers' Market board, said he was thrilled to see the construction funding awarded.

"We're incredibly excited," he said. "This is the end point of what's been five years of work between us and the City of St. John's, funders and all the community members who donated to make this a reality."

Construction to begin by end of summer

The next step from the Farmers' Market's perspective is making preparations for the move.

"We have to get our vendors lined up. We have to get our programming in place," said Smee.

"We're really excited for the possibilities beyond just Saturday morning markets with that space, and so we're going to start filling out what that's going to look like: who's going to be using it and what kind of community programs are going to be there."

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the summer. Smee said the Farmers' Market hopes to be in its new home next spring.

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