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Cottonwood Market rebuild to be delayed as redesign process still ongoing

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
March 23rd, 2016

For those Nelsonites expecting a new Cottonwood Market structure to be in place this spring, those expectations were dashed on Monday.

After city council authorized the demolition of the 40-year-old market structures last November amidst some protest from the community, it pledged to redesign and rebuild a more suitable facility on-site this spring.

That pledge is now just a memory as the redesign process is still underway — with an open house on the final design slated for next month — with no sign of work happening on the site until Spring 2017.

City council gave its approval Monday to a $30,000 budget to first complete the detailed design and engineering (including a 15 per cent contingency), and gave its stamp to the proposed concept for the multi-use Cottonwood Market facility it was presented with during its regular meeting.

The proposed concept for the multi-use Cottonwood Market facility includes a phased approach over a two-year period, with detailed design and engineering completed in three months. Construction will likely begin early in 2017 — and take around six weeks — with detailed design and fundraising taking up the bulk of the time this year.

“We may not have funding in place to do it all at once, but it will be designed (and built) in phases,” said Mayor Deb Kozak.

Cost estimates have risen from $150,000 to now ranging from $475,000 to $750,000, with the majority of the money being fundraised by the West Kootenay EcoSociety to pay for the various phases as they are developed.

The EcoSociety and the City of Nelson have worked over the past several months in conjunction with Cover Architecture Collaborative Inc. — forming a design committee — to develop the new design for the Cottonwood Market.

Input on market design has been solicited from market vendors and the public through various methods since November. One of the key results that came out of the feedback and design process was to change the focus from a single-use market facility to a multi-use facility.

The proposed design includes a number of component pieces for this multi-purpose facility, including: market stalls; performance stage; central plaza area; sound/storage booth; BBQ/sink stations; and washrooms. Phasing of the specific component pieces will be based on secured funding commitments.

There won’t be a year without markets, however. The EcoSociety’s market coordinator is willing to work with the delay, and markets will go ahead every Saturday this summer, utilizing tents to house the vendors.

“They are willing to wait for a good solution,” said Kozak.

The EcoSociety identified the need to develop a new market at Cottonwood several years ago as the previous structure had a number of deficiencies and was nearing end of life.

As the host for the community’s Saturday market gathering for over one decade — and innumerable markets for almost 40 years — the Cottonwood buildings were demolished in December of last year.

At the time, Kozak said the city’s hand was not forced by “criminal activity” in the decision to demolish the structures.

However, the new design is expected to increase safety and accessibility of the park for all users, according to the city staff report.

“The proposed location of the market and stage adjacent to the bank has eliminated the previous barrier that the market structures created to the park, and will reduce the park’s isolation, increasing accessibility and safety for all users,” it read.

Once a detailed design and a cost have been finalized — and all funding has been secured from regional and local business partners — a proposed final plan will be presented to council for approval.

Further information and more detailed design on the market facility will be presented to the public for feedback at the next Railtown open house in April, as well as on the Railtown website.

Cutting through to the costs

In late November the preliminary estimate for the city’s portion of the budget for the new market was between $100,000 and $150,000, but the total budget now sits in the range of $475,000 to $750,000, with the addition of several possible funding partners.

The cost of the project has grown, as has the size of the project, said Kozak.
“If we were just putting up open-air shelters,” it would be done, she said.

“Due to the regional nature of this project, both from an agricultural/food security perspective as well as from a forestry perspective, the project has attracted significant interest from regional business partners including Spearhead Timberworks and Kalesnikoff Lumber that may potentially help leverage regional funding,” read a city staff report to council.

The Interior Lumber Manufacturer’s Association could consider the project as a possible avenue to showcase the versatility of softwood lumber.
Structurlam — a Kelowna-based manufacturer of value-added wood products — is also a potential partner that may help to provide significant support, council was advised.

The total contribution to the project from these sources is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.

In addition, the West Kootenay EcoSociety is reaching out to Regional District of Central Kootenay directors to support the project with Community Initiatives Program and discretionary funding. The West Kootenay EcoSociety is also pursuing funding opportunities through Columbia Basin Trust. The total contribution to the project from these sources is estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.

“The completion of the final design will allow the project team to recruit additional in-kind and cash commitments through local businesses,” city staff advised.

The total contribution from these sources is estimated at $50,000 to $100,000.

Market by the numbers

  • The proposed multi-use Cottonwood Market facility includes 5,400 square feet of covered space: market kiosks comprise 4,200 sq. ft.; the stage area 1,200 sq. ft.; and 3,665 sq. ft. of plaza.
  • Specific components include: seven market kiosks (three vendors per kiosk) at $50,000 per kiosk; one performance stage at $95,000; one central plaza area at $100,000; two barbeques and sink washing stations at $13,000 per station; one washroom facility at $50,000; and one sound booth/storage area at $60,000.
  • The market kiosks will accommodate between 18 to 21 vendors (roughly three vendors per kiosk). As well, an additional eight to 12 tents (10’ x 10’) can be accommodated in the central plaza area. Similar to the old market, additional tents can be accommodated 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.

Source: City of Nelson

Categories: General

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