The Hammond Downtown Development District broke ground recently on a dual project, the Hanson Street Crossing and new market pavilion. The projects go hand in hand since the crossing will eventually provide access to the pavilion.
DDD Executive Director Chelsea Tallo said that she foresees the community growing and becoming more involved with the addition of these projects. Specifically, she said the pavilion will in the least make Hammondites more aware of the small but successful farmer’s market. She said, “Right now the market is still small and somewhat hidden. With a brand new pavilion in the entryway to Downtown, people will want to know more and will want to join the fun.”
The first phase which is beginning construction is the Hanson Street Crossing. It will be located at the barricaded section of railroad on Hanson, in front of the Mezzanine. The purpose of this project is to create a safe path and crossing for pedestrians across the tracks. Pedestrians will need this crossing once the pavilion phase is complete, but can use it for other events downtown such as the Blues and Barbecue.
The next phase of the projects is to completely acquire the land for the pavilion. Tallo said she and the Hammond Downtown Development Board of Directors have taken giant steps to get everything underway as soon as possible since the idea and plans started over five years ago.
The market pavilion will be beneficial not only because it will provide shelter and permanent area for the vendors, but it will also double the available space and create room for the market to grow as a whole, said Tallo. “The design of the building has a garage door type system where on pretty days, the walls of the pavilion will be opened up so everyone on the outside can see in and everyone inside can enjoy the fresh air.” In case of more severe weather, the dedicated vendors and their products will be safe under the shelter.
Market Manager Olivia Graziano said, “Hanson Crossing is a huge milestone for Downtown Development and the Hammond Farmers Market. The completion of this project puts us one step closer to our ultimate goal, the Hammond Market Pavilion. These structures will give the Market a sense of security and permanence that will allow our brand to grow and flourish. It’ll also be more accessible to patrons which, in turn, will be great for foot traffic and sales. Overall, it’s a win for all parties involved!”