Foley is looking to add amenities and access at the site of the Coastal Alabama Farmer’s and Fishermen’s Market on Miflin Road near OWA and the city’s Sports Tourism Complex.
The city took over the complex formally in April after being run for a seven-year term as a non-profit New Markets Tax Credit project and operating on the city land. Now that the city has rolled the organization into its Leisure Services Department it is looking at improvements there.
“We’re working right now,” Mayor Ralph Hellmich said. “There is a little dirt road going north of the market on the east side of the property. That is going to be paved going up connecting to Stabler Avenue. We’re working on street lighting with sidewalks around the Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market on Farmer’s Way. It will connect to Koniar Way which will have sidewalks and lighting. And we’re going to go down Stabler Avenue with a sidewalk.”
The connection to Stabler will also mean a direct connection to the sports complex. Another amenity could include pickleball courts near the market building. Pickleball is said to be the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. and Gulf Shores recently broke ground on 12 lighted pickleball courts at its Sportsplex with an eye on attracting tournaments.
“David Thompson is working on a conceptual plan for pickleball courts in that area,” Hellmich said. “The pickleball courts would be directly on the north side of the farmers’ market. That way we would have more people there instead of just on Saturdays utilizing the resource.”
Thompson is the executive director of the Leisure Services Department and is working on finalizing how the courts will look and operate.
“The council hasn’t signed off on the pickleball court design yet but we’re trying to get all that lined up so we can get them to sign off on funding it which I think will occur,” Hellmich said.
Parking shouldn’t be a problem because the market is only open on Saturdays and on-street parking will be added to the new road and along Koniar Way on the western boundary of the property.
“You have farmers’ market there and the neat thing about that we only used the farmers’ market there on Saturdays so the majority of the time the parking is available,” Hellmich said. “We’ll be adding some parking along this road going to the north.”