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Seattle approves US$34m to expand historic Pike Place Market
[SEATTLE] Seattle lawmakers voted on Monday to invest US$34 million in taxpayer funds to expand the city's historic Pike Place Market, which draws millions of visitors each year to its fresh produce, flower and fish stalls.
The existing waterfront farmer's market, which opened in 1907 and is one of Seattle's most recognizable landmarks, cannot be significantly altered under historic preservation rules.
Instead, its expansion and facelift, the largest undertaken in 50 years, will turn a nearby parking lot into a 30,000-square-foot public plaza with a walkway that connects the market to the waterfront, the market said on its website.
Architects Miller Hull Partnership have also created plans to add about 50 new outdoor stalls for farmers and artists as well as 12,000 square feet of retail space.
The project is expected to cost US$73 million, according to the not-for-profit Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, which manages the historic district.
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday to put US$34 million from its tax-collected general fund to the expansion efforts. The rest of the money will be paid for through a bond issuance, grants and tax credits, the development authority said.
Construction was expected to begin as early as May and would take about 18 months.