Dallas Farmers Market

When we talk about growth/development these days we seem to only discuss massive apartment buildings.
Where will these new residents work and shop?
Are we cementing Lakewood into a role as a bedroom community, where most people work outside the city? That will put a greater strain on the roads, increase global warming, and stress out the commuters. Actually I can’t think of anything good coming out of increasing sprawl.

Additionally, can you think of a location in Lakewood that metro area people visit as a destination? Look up ‘Things To Do in Lakewood’ on tripadvisor.

We could try to annex Red Rocks, or….

I suggest we push the idea of building a year-round Farmers Market (probably along West Colfax, but on Fed Center land might work too). We can model it after the Dallas Farmers Market. HERE’s their website. Below is a satellite image of the Market and surrounding area.

I envision the Lakewood Farmers Market (LFM) as open year round, and an anchor for many surrounding businesses. It should be dedicated to SMALL businesses, and Lakewood could/should provide them with the same breaks that Walmart got at Wadsworth & Colfax, that Colorado Mills got, and that Belmar merchants got. Wouldn’t it be nice if the City treated small businesses as nicely as multi-national corporations? It’s a pipe dream of mine.

You can see in the image above that all the surrounding businesses and lofts name themselves ‘Farmers Market’ this or that. Yep it’s an anchor. I’ll leave it up to you to imagine what kind of businesses would want to go in there. I can think of: concert hall, brewery, distillery, restaurants, hair stylist, small engine repair, meat market, florist, supermarket, bike shop. (NOT. National Chains of any kind) If done right the ground floor of the nearby apt buildings would have retail on the ground floor, offices on the 2nd floor, residences above (like Belmar). This is how Alta (behind Safeway) was sold, and City Council believed the developer that that was what they would build, but didn’t require it.

My favorite location for something like this is near the Oak Street Light Rail Station. O’Toole’s garden center is already there.

NOTE: This is only a dream of mine, and absolutely no one is actually talking about developing something like this. Yet.

I’ll be labeled as Anti-development. I’ll own that. I’d just like to point out that while I hate developers putting soviet style apt. blocks on every tiny piece of ground that they can buy, a development with a thought out master plan including residential, retail, and employment centers will get my full support and drum beat.