Submitted by the City of Evanston
In the summer of 2022, the City of Evanston, in partnership with Interface Studio, launched a community engagement and business district market analysis to improve the quality and mix of retail, food, and entertainment offerings in Evanston’s eight business districts. Over 2,100 survey responses were received, and over 50 conversations were held with residents, businesses, and organizations. As a result, a draft action plan was released in March.
The Evanston Thrives implementation matrix includes over 60 actions for the city to consider to help our business districts thrive in our post-pandemic economy. The actions focus on delivering high-quality events, strengthening placemaking initiatives, improving city processes, and building university relationships. The consultant estimates a ten-year implementation horizon for the entire Thrives program. One of the recommendations was to consider the long-term location of the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market, especially since it operates on land that is not owned by the city.
The recommendation is simply a suggestion for the city to contemplate over the long term. There are no immediate plans to move the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market. Any future consideration of a potential move would involve robust community engagement and discussions with key stakeholders, including Friends of the Evanston Farmers Markets. The report itself calls for a discussion with the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market organizers on its long-term future.
The city is committed to being open-minded to all recommendations and assessing them in a transparent and critical way, and we ask that community members do the same.
I love the idea of moving the market to downtown. When I first moved to Evanston I heard about the market but was confused as to where it was. Downtown is under utilized and I think it would add a greater sense of community and spirit as well as increase in revenue for existing businesses.
Moving the market to fountain square to generate more activity for downtown businesses area doesn’t seem like it will make much sense unless the city plans on closing all the streets so the vendor trucks can be close to their stands and people can wander easily .