Site work underway for DeKalb Farmers Market expansion

7/25/2014, 6:51 a.m.
The DeKalb Farmers Market expansion is expected to be completed in four phases over 10 years. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2023. Photo by Jennifer Ffrench-Parker

Construction crews are moving acres of red dirt on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Decatur to make way for Your DeKalb Farmers Market’s million-square-foot expansion.

The popular fresh produce market also is adding 2,800 parking spaces and two new driveways. The project was first proposed in 2012.

Site preparation covers more than 100 acres of woods between the parking lot of the current market and DeKalb Industrial Way and has been under way since March. A construction start date has not been released.

The market, at 3000 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., was founded more than 30 years ago by Robert Blazer and is famous for its enormous selection of fresh global and organically grown foods and competitive prices.

The project is expected to be completed in four phases over 10 years. Under the plan, the current store will become a warehouse and wholesale space and a new retail store and warehouse complex will be built. Due to the project’s massive size, the Atlanta Regional Commission reviewed it and issued a 2012 “Development of Regional Impact” report. The report says Phase 1 will be completed by 2015 and the entire project by 2023.

  • Phase 1 will consist of 361,972 square feet of warehouse and 186,703 square feet of retail. The existing 142,475-square-foot retail area will be converted to warehouse and wholesale area after completion of Phase 1.
  • Phase 2 will consist of 223,530 square feet of warehouse.
  • Phase 3 will consist of 419,875 square feet of warehouse and 89,065 square feet of retail.
  • Phase 4 will consist of 98,774 square feet of warehouse and 53,186 square feet of retail.

When completed, the market will be the county’s largest grocery store. The project’s site plans indicate that the existing building will be expanded by more than 100,000 square feet. The additional space will be a combination of warehouse and retail and will create a separate wholesale operation.

The ARC’s report found that the expansion will create close to 23,000 new vehicle trips to area roads daily, underscoring the need for intersection improvements, including optimizing signal timing.