Every summer since the early 1970s, the City of Independence, Mo., has hosted its Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market, offering its residents a place to find locally grown foods and handcrafted goods every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer. In 2015, the market was relocated to a parking lot on the south side of the Historic Independence Square to make way for a new housing development. In early February, the City Council approved moving the Independence Farmers’ Market again, only this address will be permanent.

Groundbreaking on the $3.35 million project took place Feb. 27, and city officials aim to have the new facility open and ready for use by the Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival in September. The Independence Farmers’ Market, which will be named the Uptown Market once it is open, will have an enclosed pavilion that can be rented out year-round and a standalone open-air pavilion. It will be located on the north side of the Independence Square, off Truman Road between Liberty and Osage streets.

“We would not have been able to do this project without the support and encouragement of our residents, our business community, and particularly the Rotary Club of Independence, which did an amazing job of stepping forward and embracing the vision by working to help us raise the money we needed to make this project a reality,” said Independence Mayor Eileen Weir. The Rotary Club secured more than $312,000 in donations to help finance the Uptown Market.


Team Experience

The project partnership includes McClure Engineering Company (MEC) as the engineer, Hollis + Miller Architects as the architect, and McCownGordon as the design-build contractor. The three organizations have worked together on several community projects in the past, including community centers, new school construction and expansions, and first-responder communication centers.

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The Independence Farmers’ Market design-build team and city officials.

“This integrated project approach will allow the design-build team to seamlessly and speedily transition the existing parking lot into a turnkey farmer’s market that the City will truly be proud,” said Matt Kist, vice president of development services. “Integration and communication among our partners is a priority to us. We pride ourselves on inclusion and transparency in the design and documentation process.”

In addition to the design-build partnership, the team worked to understand and implement the strategic plan of the mayor, city manager, public works department, and community stakeholders.

MEC provided its survey, design, and construction services to the project. It first tasked the in-house survey department with performing detailed topographic and boundary surveys of the project limits. This included reviewing city records, connecting with the various utility companies to request maps of their facilities, and performing a detailed examination of the existing site to develop an accurate base map.

“Assembling a detailed and accurate base map assures the design-build team, and ultimately the City, that we are fully aware of the existing site’s constraints,” Kist said. “The base map also allows the design-build team to account for any existing below-grade utilities, which may have significant impacts to the project budget and schedule.”

Once the base map was being developed, MEC worked with the architectural design team to develop concepts. Inventory and analysis of the site was taken to understand pedestrian, vehicle, and bicycle access, as well as any other design opportunities or constraints. MEC developed a site layout, and grading and drainage concepts with special consideration of the existing site topography, which has an approximate 14-foot fall from one side to the other. “This grade change created potential design challenges in producing an accessible site for patrons of all mobilities and age groups,” Kist said.

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Independence Mayor Eileen Weir addresses the crowd before breaking ground on the Independence Farmers’ Market.

MEC also provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design services for the event facility, which includes interior lighting, restrooms, and a kitchen, signage for the facility, and parking lot lighting that uses a combination of relocated existing and new fixtures.

After the base map was finalized, MEC blended the design concept into construction documents and assisted the design-build team with the required applications and permits for land disturbance and erosion control. During construction, MEC will review civil, mechanical and electrical, and landscape-related shop drawings and respond to questions regarding the design.

“We have done something with this project that I have dreamed about since I moved to Independence 18 years ago, and that is the community coming up with a vision, setting priorities, and telling their elected officials to get it done,” said Mayor Weir. “We can’t wait to see it come out of the ground and be open this summer in time for Santa-Cali-Gon.”