Eastern Market, the public market that has nourished Detroit for decades, celebrates its 125th Anniversary this year. Eastern Market Corporation (EMC), the nonprofit organization that operates and promotes the market and the adjacent market district, announces two initiatives to honor and celebrate the Market’s rich history along with efforts to ensure the legacy of Eastern Market as a working food district in the years ahead.

After extensive public engagement and input, EMC is unveiling Eastern Market 2025, a 10-year economic development framework, to guide the market district in response to the changing development environment in Detroit and in the midst of sweeping changes in the food economy.

“Detroit has changed significantly since The Great Recession and the food industry is rapidly reinventing itself, so we decided to update our 2008 strategic plan with energy, resources and input like never before,” said Dan Carmody, president of EMC. “More than 600 Detroiters participated in this process, under the coordination of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, along with outside advice provided by two firms that helped markets in London and New York mesh better with their adjacent neighborhoods.

The major barriers and opportunities that lie ahead made it imperative to more thoroughly assess global trends and clearly weigh stakeholder needs to correctly calibrate the interventions needed to help strengthen the market for the next 10 years and beyond,” Carmody added.

Eastern Market 2025 was made possible with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and builds on other market area plans funded by the W.K. Kellogg, Kresge and Erb Family Foundations.

“We welcome the potential of this plan to enhance Detroit’s urban core and help secure the city’s future growth by continuing the spirit under which it was developed – recognizing our city’s diverse voices, its entrepreneurial spirit and a desire for positive change,” said Katy Locker, Knight Foundation program director for Detroit.”

The full, 114-page plan is accessible online via easternmarket.com.

 Also, throughout 2016, the Market will celebrate its 125th Anniversary in ways that will touch each segment of the community that has benefited from the Market’s vibrant presence. This year, EMC is gathering at least 125 stories of how the market has played a role in the lives of shoppers, farmers, business owners, neighbors, community leaders and Detroiters. These stories will be displayed over multiple platforms to help Metro Detroit and the world better understand the true breadth and depth of the Eastern Market experience.

The 125th Anniversary celebration will include public events and opportunities to raise funds for the Market’s ongoing operations. “We hope everyone who has benefited from and appreciates Eastern Market will consider honoring this milestone anniversary by going online to become a Friend of Eastern Market and help ensure our mission will continue for at least another 125 years,” said Carmody.


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