Vendors now fill the front lawn of Flowery Branch City Hall to sell their home-grown fruits and vegetables — but just for this season.
Work could begin soon on the city’s new Farmers Market, featuring a wooden, open-air pavilion, as a permanent home for the popular activity.
City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, June 10, for the new attraction, which will be off Railroad Avenue behind the Flowery Branch Depot off Main Street.
“This is an exciting time for the city, with all the redevelopment downtown,” Mayor Mike Miller said to a crowd gathered for the ceremony.
“Many times when you do these downtown redevelopment plans, they get stuck in a binder and thrown on a shelf, and you never touch them again. I’m blessed we’ve had a council … that has bought into that vision with a new city hall, redevelopment downtown (and) new buildings on Main Street that are coming to fruition here.”
The Farmers Market is one part of $5.2 million in public improvements in the city.
Also planned are a couple of parks on Church Street, a plaza-like walkway between Main Street and the Farmers Market, and a “woonerf,” or a Dutch-style, pedestrian-friendly area on Church Street Street between Main and Pine streets.
The plan is to have all the improvements finished by Christmas, with some kind of festive occasion to mark the completion.
The efforts are part of a public-private partnership with Atlanta-based The Residential Group, which is developing an apartment-retail building on Main Street between Railroad and Church. The walkway to the Farmers Market would be between the depot and The Residential Group’s building.
Also, the city is looking to spruce up Main Street between Church and Mitchell streets with a streetscaping effort. The move would replace parallel parking on the Antebellum restaurant side of Main with 12 angled spaces.
The work is rooted in a master plan released in 2015.
One major part of the plan has been realized: a new City Hall and an extension of Pine Street from Church Street to Railroad Avenue. City Hall faces West Pine Street, with plans for eventual commercial development on the other side of West Pine.
Also in play is a proposal for 14 townhomes on Church Street behind The Residential Group building. A developer is seeking a rezoning to enable the project on three lots between Main and Martin streets. Single-family homes are now on the property.
The project would involve a land swap between the developer and Flowery Branch to allow for the Farmers Market project.