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Federal Way Farmers Market will move to new location

The Federal Way Farmers Market will move to a new location for the 2011 season.

Organizers told The Mirror that the market will open May 7 at the former AMC Theatres site, a 4.1-acre property at 31600 20th Ave. S. (near the transit center). The farmers market spent its first seven seasons in the Sears parking lot at The Commons Mall.

The Federal Way City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday to allow the market to use the AMC site this season.

The market will pay the city $5,000 to lease the AMC site for one year, said Patrick Doherty, director of economic development. That was the same price the market paid to Sears, he said.

City staff will prepare the site for the market, but the market will maintain the site for the season. Market organizers are working with Puget Sound Energy to establish an electricity connection at the AMC site. Part of the market’s lease would cover the cost for this work.

“Other cities around the region have recognized the asset of a farmers market,” Doherty said, noting the market’s potential for bringing people to downtown Federal Way.

More than 70 vendors have signed up for the market’s opening day on May 7, said Karla Kolibab, a co-founder of the market. The market still plans to host annual events such as a chili cook-off between Federal Way police and South King Fire and Rescue.

“We feel the city is behind us more than ever,” Kolibab said. “It’s still the same farmers market.”

A permanent location for the market has not been established.

“The city definitely recognizes the value of the farmers market in quality of life and providing something a little different in terms of shopping destinations downtown,” said city spokesman Chris Carrel. “The city wants to be a partner in finding a way to see it continue to operate.”

The Mirror is still seeking comment from management at Sears and The Commons Mall regarding the farmers market’s lease of the parking lot. Council member Jack Dovey recused himself from voting on the lease Tuesday due to his wife’s involvement with the farmers market.

Check it out

An open house for potential vendors will run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30 at the AMC Theatres site. The market will run through October. To learn more, contact Karla Kolibab at federalwayfarmersmarket@yahoo.com or (253) 261-8157.

 

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