The new plaza will be part of Eastern Market's $3.9 million Shed 5 renovation project. (Renderings from Eastern Market Corp.)
Need a place to chat or eat outside at Eastern Market after you buy your veggies? It’s on its way.
DTE Energy on Friday gave Eastern Market Corp. a $750,000 grant for a 200-seat social gathering area. The spot will bear DTE’s name and is part of the market’s $3.9 million Shed 5 renovation project, which includes a new community kitchen to help food startups.
“DTE has joined this public-private collaboration because the Shed 5 project is about so much more than bricks and mortar,” said Gary Anderson, chairman, president and CEO of DTE. “The transformation of Eastern Market is part of a larger Detroit renaissance taking place from the riverfront to downtown to Midtown to the city’s neighborhoods.”
The announcement was scheduled as part of a Friday night dinner co-hosted by Whole Foods Market, Dow Chemical Co., the Kresge Foundation and Taubman Centers.
“The DTE Energy Plaza will serve as a convivial gathering place to create a stronger market, and we are very grateful for the DTE Energy Foundation’s generous support and naming of this new community asset,” Dan Carmody, president of the Eastern Market Corp., said in a statement. “The DTE Energy Plaza will be a welcoming place where people will gather to enjoy each other and the bounty of Eastern Market.”
In June, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded the farmers market, which is open year-round on Saturdays and on Tuesdays in the summer and early fall, a $1 million grant for the renovation. The project has received funding from other foundation, corporate sponsors and the city, which is supporting it through bond revenue valued at $1.5 million and a community development block grant for $330,000.
The Shed 5 renovation project is scheduled to be finished by June. People will be able to sit at tables under umbrellas and enjoy fare from the market and food trucks. In 2010, the market spent $6.2 million to renovate Shed 3.