I shared this in the Green Center post on this site as well. I'd like to see an expanded vision for a downtown Farmers Market in Mesa. In many cities, a Farmers Market is a large destination that combines produce stands, meat, fish, and cheese shops, specialty stands such as candy, flowers and coffee retailers, gourmet shops and diverse dining options combined with eating areas.
Extraordinary examples of these kinds of projects include Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, Seattle's Pike Place Market, Toronto's St. Lawrence Market and dozens more highly successful farmer's markets that are destinations for the entire region. Smaller communities such as Allentown, PA and Flint, MI boast highly successful year-round markets. Some also include artist markets. With our weather, adding outdoor eating areas and more produce stands during peak growing season would be ideal.
There is NO asset like this in the Phoenix Metro Area (of the permanence and scale such markets have, with the infrastructure and diversity that make them so successful). Downtown Mesa is a perfect place to have something like this--perhaps in the 200 South Center location owned by the City or in the land being prepped for development near the Marriott. Places with access to Light Rail but also ample parking would be ideal.
The infrastructure for these is quite simple, as they feature large or long "state fair" type exhibition buildings or industrial spaces with various booths & stands--a warehouse-type building w/open air works well. Some are open many days a week, some alternating days, and some on weekends. So there are many models to explore in finding the right one for Mesa & the Valley. My wife and I have seen numerous successful examples and would be happy to share info & pics. Every place we've lived has had some version of what I've described above and it has been a treasured spot for us and everyone we knew, and I believe it would be an enormous draw for people from across the Valley.