Opinion

A fresh approach to revitalization efforts

The City of Penticton is developing a fresh approach in its efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown core.

While the concept of downtown revitalization is something that has been championed by communities of all shapes and sizes for decades, the current efforts of a number of Penticton groups has taken the idea in a whole new direction.

While most communities’ revitalization projects focus on improvements to streets, sidewalks and lighting, perhaps the addition of green space or benches, Penticton is looking at the types of products themselves as a way to bolster traffic downtown.

With the Penticton Farmers’ Market becoming a staple for so many to spend their summer Saturday mornings, plans for a permanent downtown market are gathering steam.

The downtown revitalization select committee is proposing setting up a year-round public market at the site of the old Ellis Street bus barn. Committee co-chair Barb Haynes envisions a smaller-scale version of Vancouver’s Granville Island or Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Haynes, who also serves as the executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association, said the market would be a place where shoppers could pick up artisan cheeses, local fruits and produce and a variety of other similar products.

While the market will no doubt be a benefit to local consumers, the increased traffic the market will draw to the downtown would also provide an economic shot in the arm to downtown merchants.

The DPA is now hoping to obtain $160,000 in Western Diversification funding to get the project off the ground. We are cautiously optimistic about the success of the grant application, as it’s hard to imagine even Ottawa could overlook the economic benefits the market could bring.

 

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