Eastern Market Receives $750K Grant to Build 200-Seat Outdoor Gathering Place

DTE Energy Foundation, the charitable arm of DTE Energy, granted the Eastern Market Corporation $750,000 that will be used to create an outdoor social gathering area right outside the market’s sheds.

DTE Energy Plaza – Shed 5 – Eastern Market

DTE Energy Foundation, the charitable arm of DTE Energy, granted the Eastern Market Corporation $750,000 that will be used to create an outdoor social gathering area right outside the market’s sheds.

The Detroit News reports that the grant follows a $1 million donation awarded in June by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to support renovations at Shed 5, which was originally constructed in 1981. Seen as the market’s “core,” Shed 5 is the northernmost enclosed shed in the Eastern Market.

In January 2012 Urban Life Development started renovating the shed according to plans by Kraemer Design Group and with the financial help of the city of Detroit, which covered almost 50 percent of the funding needed for renovation, and further grants coming from Whole Foods, W.K. Kellogg, the Kresge Foundation, Ford and private donations (read more here). The upgraded Shed 5 is expected to open in June 2014.

The $750,000 grant will help the Eastern Market Corporation build a 200-seat outdoor plaza that will bear DTE Energy Foundation’s name and will benefit from the shed’s much anticipated Community Kitchen which will support local food entrepreneurs who market their products at lower costs.

Meanwhile, local artist Vito Valdez is working to restore a 6,500-square-foot mural at the Eastern Market. The original mural was commissioned in 1962 by city planning director Charles A. Blessing, who hired architect Alex Pollock to design a huge painted sign—a forklift pulling carts of produce—to draw attention on the market and attract shoppers. According to Curbed Detroit, the mural was painted in 1972 by Ed Lee and became a visual symbol for the Eastern Market but, as years passed, it faded and was vandalized.

Rendering of DTE Energy Foundation Plaza via Eastern Market Facebook page