Nelson city council has approved a general concept for the Cottonwood Market and an expenditure of $30,000 to draw up detailed plans for it.
The concept, developed by Lukas Armstrong of Cover Architecture, involves not just a market, but a multi-use year-round facility including market stalls, performance stage, central plaza area, sound/storage booth, barbecue area, sink stations, and washrooms. The materials and drawings Armstrong presented to council are attached below.
David Reid, executive director of the West Kootenay EcoSociety which runs the market on the city-owned site, says the expanded concept will turn the market into a “regional asset.” He said the plan was developed with the help of a committee of market vendors.
“If we designed a space that was only going to be a market, this might not be exactly what we would do,” he told the Star, “but we want something that will have utility beyond the 25 days a year [that the previous market space was used].”
Reid says he likes the way the new design relates to the park. “It creates a pleasant interaction with the park. On a market day there will be a feeling like you are in a park. “It’s open and airy.”
The market will move toward the hillside and closer to the park.
And he says he’s excited about the performance stage.
“It will provide a great opportunity for bands on the other days of the year, a pretty amazing performance space. That will be a huge asset that could host a festival.”
Highlights of the concept for the future expanded market include:
• moving the market eastward toward the hillside;
• creating a plaza in the market with kiosks framing it;
• a stage placed to create a destination for arriving venue attendees;
• circular external vehicle access for market drop-off;
• entrances in two locations;
• maintaining light access to all areas by breaking up the roofs into modules;
• local materials, design, and labour;
• maintaining the large cedar trees on the site;
• capability to use canvas walls during inclement weather.
A copy of Armstrong’s presentation to council, including many drawings, is attached below.
The market kiosks would accommodate 18 to 21 vendors (roughly three vendors per kiosk). An additional eight to 12 tents could be accommodated in the central plaza area and by spilling out into the park space. For outdoor festivals, there is room for roughly 600 standing audience members in the front two-thirds of the venue, including the covered kiosks and open plaza.
Asked if the design was intended to discourage people from sleeping in the market, Mayor Deb Kozak told the Star “Yes, we wanted to make sure it not be used for sleeping or for unsavory or illegal activities.”
Reid says the goal is to have the new structures in place for the summer of 2017. This year’s market will run on the old market site because there is already water and power, and will consist of vendor tents like those at the summer markets on Baker St. A shipping container will be parked there for market storage.
Armstrong said the project has been a “great collaborative effort between the team at Cover Architecture, Effistruc Consulting, the EcoSociety, the market vendors, and the city.”
The budget for the new market could exceed $600,000, through possible participation by Kalesnikoff Lumber, the Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association, and Spearhead Timberworks ($150,000 to $200,000); the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Columbia Basin Trust ($200,000 to $300,000); local businesses, in-kind and cash ($50,000 to $100,000); and other grants.
At the council table, councillor Anna Purcell objected to having to adopt the concept before the city’s March 31 deadline for feedback on it. She made a motion to delay the decision two weeks until after the deadline, but it was defeated.
Kozak told the Star the public can still give feedback on the details of the proposed market because the one approved by council Monday is an overall concept, the details of which could still be changed.
Another objector was councillor Michael Dailly who said he wished the architect had submitted several alternative proposals rather than just one.
When the market concept and the $30,000 to continue the drawings came to a vote, it passed 4-3, with Dailly, Purcell, and councillor Robin Cherbo voting against it.