Farmers’ Market Improvement Project

The City of Overland Park is considering options for improvement and expansion of the Farmers’ Market site at 7950 Marty.

Reconstruction of this facility is an important 30+ year investment in downtown Overland Park.

Details about the project, including information relevant to specific phases of the project, are provided below. This page will be updated throughout the improvement project.

Improvement Project Town Hall

Residents, Farmers’ Market shoppers and vendors, and others are invited to share feedback on the project in two ways: a public town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty; or through a virtual feedback form.

City staff will share information about the goals of the project, ask questions to provoke thoughts and conversation on the improvements, and be available to answer questions.

The virtual feedback form will be available on this page after the town hall meeting. Register online and attend the in-person meeting at Matt Ross Community Center.

Project Status

The project is currently in an initiation phase, which involves:

  • Studying needs
  • Developing a request for proposals for ideas
  • Issuing a request for proposals
  • Review of concept proposals by the selection committee
  • Accepting a proposal concept or choosing to proceed without private partnership.
Timeline graphic shows icons signifying phases of the project: Initiation, Planning and Design, Construction and Completion
Request for Proposals

The City issued a request for proposals to the development community which calls for ideas for development of a new Farmers’ Market on the current site.

If there are other creative ideas, the request for proposals allows the City to partner with the development community to provide a more beneficial and exciting project in downtown.

There are currently no preconceived notions of what kind of project might be proposed. However, the Farmers’ Market would be the key component of any use.

The request for proposals process will allow the City Council and community to evaluate whether there might be a viable alternative to simply undertaking a separate and stand-alone City redevelopment of the Farmers’ Market site. The City will be able to define what it requires of any redeveloped site, including vendor stall space, event space and any associated amenities for a complete project.

Issuing the request for proposals does not commit the City to any particular path forward.

See the RFP

Project Timeline

The following are key dates for the planning, approval and construction of this project. Future dates are tentative. Dates will be updated as the project progresses.

  • February 5, 2018 – After a study exploring ways to improve the Farmers’ Market, including public and vendor input meetings, a consultant presented to the Overland Park City Council regarding future plans for the market.
  • Spring 2018 – The City spent approximately $200,000 in interim maintenance expenses to paint the Farmers’ Market pavilion canopy, enhance the electrical system, address immediate drainage and pavement issues on the site and more.
  • October 2018 – The City purchased the property at 7910 Marty adjacent to the Farmers’ Market pavilion that was previously used as a car wash. This space has been used for additional parking in Downtown, especially on Market days.
  • Spring 2019 – The City allocated $5.5 million in the 2020-2024 Capital Improvements Plan for design and reconstruction of the Farmers’ Market site, scheduled to be built in 2022.
  • Spring 2021 – City Council approved the 2022-2026 Capital Improvements Plan, which adjusts funding years from the Farmers’ Market improvements to allow preliminary planning to start in 2021.
  • April 7, 2021 – City staff informed the Community Development Committee that the City would be issuing a request for proposals for a public-private partnership for the Overland Park Farmers’ Market.
  • September 2021 – The City issued a request for proposals for redevelopment of the Farmers’ Market site. 
  • September 28, 2021 – The City will host a town hall event for residents, Farmers’ Market shoppers and vendors, and others to share feedback on the project.
  • Fall 2021 – Concept proposals will be due.
  • Fall/Winter 2021 – A selection committee will evaluate and interview proposal applicants.
  • Late 2021/Early 2022 – The selection committee will make a recommendation to the Community Development Committee and City Council regarding any selected proposal.
  • 2023 – Construction

Project Background

The Farmers’ Market pavilion was originally built in 1991. While the pavilion houses a major community amenity, the City recognizes there may be additional opportunities for this space, including options that:

  • Accommodate downtown events such as the Farmers’ Market while minimizing disruption caused by parking availability.
  • Permit growth of the Farmers’ Market and increase comfort for vendors and customers.
  • Expand transit service, enhancing pedestrian connections from downtown businesses and encouraging alternative transportation.
  • Allow for a more flexible event and community gathering facility.

In 2017, the City worked with a consultant to study options that would allow the Farmers’ Market to meet the goals listed above. This study included a survey and public meeting for residents, focus groups with Downtown Overland Park merchants and Farmers’ Market vendors, market and transportation analyses and design options.

Study Results

As a result of the study, the City decided that the Farmers’ Market would remain in its current location. The City also purchased the car wash property to the north of the Farmers’ Market site. The City programmed funding for the Farmers’ Market improvement project into the City’s Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan in 2019.

Questions + Answers

Will the Farmers’ Market stay at the current site at 7950 Marty?

Yes.

A 2017 study confirmed that the location of the market should remain generally in its current location on Marty, at the site of the pavilion and City parking lot.

Regardless of the results of a potential public-private partnership for redevelopment, the Farmers’ Market will be the key component of any future use at the site.

Why is the City updating the Farmers’ Market site?

The Farmers’ Market pavilion was originally built in 1991.

While the pavilion houses a major community amenity, the City recognizes there may be additional opportunities for this space, including options that allow for the Farmers’ Market to grow and increase comfort for vendors and shoppers, and additional programming in the space.

Additionally, there are physical challenges for Farmers’ Market operations in continuing to use the existing pavilion space. Rain and weather penetration from the open-air market prevent the possibility of a year-round market operation. The asphalt parking lot surface traps heat and rain runoff, creating a less comfortable environment for all Farmers’ Market attendees. More vendors are interested in selling, and shoppers are interested in purchasing meats, eggs, dairy products and other items that require refrigeration, yet the pavilion has insufficient electrical capacity to accommodate these needs.

Will the Farmers’ Market have to move for construction of the new facility?

Until we know the full scope of the Farmers’ Market site redevelopment project, we don’t know for sure.

However, it is expected that reconstruction may relocate the Farmers’ Market for at least some part of the 2023 season. City staff will work to ensure minimal disruption to market vendors, shoppers and others while the redevelopment project is under construction.

Will this project include public engagement opportunities? How can I get involved?

The Farmers’ Market is a major community amenity and as such, the City and any other parties involved in the project will have multiple opportunities throughout the planning and development process to share their thoughts.

Even before design work begins on the project, the consultant selected to write the request for proposals engaged stakeholders to hear their priorities about the improvements.

A town hall meeting on Sept. 28, 2021 and virtual feedback opportunity will gather thoughts from residents and Farmers’ Market shoppers and vendors.

After a decision is made regarding selection of a design concept, or to proceed without a private partnership, the project will include community engagement with neighbors, residents, merchants, vendors, shoppers and others.

Additionally, City projects, like all development projects in Overland Park, are required to go through the Planning Commission and City Council approval process. These involve the opportunity to attend public hearings and share your thoughts.

You can also always reach out to your City Council member. Use the tool on our website to enter your address and see contact information for your representative.

Who all is the City working with to make this project happen?

The City hired a consultant, K2 Urban Design Development, to write a request for proposals to provide an opportunity to confirm whether reconstruction of the current pavilion is the right path or, if there are other creative ideas to deliver a new Farmers’ Market space partnering with the development community. The consultant and City staff took feedback from the Community Development committee, the Downtown Overland Park Partnership, which represents businesses in Downtown Overland Park, experienced mixed-use developers, RideKC and City staff to inform the request for proposals.

After a decision is made regarding selection of a design concept, or to proceed without a private partnership, the project will include additional community engagement with neighbors, residents, merchants, vendors, shoppers and others.

Will the improvement project involve any of the designs from the 2017 study?

At this time, no specific design has been selected.

Regardless of the results of the request for proposals process, the redeveloped Farmers’ Market site will prioritize the goals highlighted in the 2017 study.

Why did the City issue a request for proposals for this project instead of just rebuilding the pavilion?

The request for proposals provides an opportunity to confirm whether reconstruction of the current pavilion is the right path or, if there are other creative ideas to deliver a new Farmers’ Market space partnering with the development community.

Issuing the request for proposals does not commit the City to any particular path forward.

Why issue a request for proposal now if the Farmers’ Market site is not programmed for construction until 2023?

This process does not obligate the City Council to proceed with selection of a partner, but is being carried out far enough in advance to allow the project currently programmed for redevelopment of the Farmers’ Market Pavilion and site to begin in 2023 if no concept project is selected by the City.

How does the Downtown Overland Park Partnership study of Overland Park Drive factor into this plan?

The City is aware and involved in the partnership’s planning project for Overland Park Drive, and is considering options to collaborate on this effort as well. The Overland Park Drive study is included in the request for proposals.

Additional Documents + Resources