Farmers Market reaches compromise on hotel construction noise

Marion Square market will close early at 12:30 p.m. to allow for pile driving

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City officials and Bennett Hospitality have worked out a compromise to keep the sound of pile driving at a hotel construction site from disrupting this Saturday's Farmers Market in Marion Square.

Under an abridged schedule, the city-organized Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Cultural Affairs Director Scott Watson, whose office oversees the Farmers Market. Construction crews will be staged and ready to start pile driving at 1 p.m. (The Farmers Market usually lasts until 2 p.m.)

Last week, Farmers Market vendors received an email from Cultural Affairs advising them that earplugs would be available for the next four Saturdays as a construction crew drove piles for Bennett Hospitality's new eight-story luxury hotel beside Marion Square. Some vendors worried that the pounding sound of the construction noise would drive customers away.

"There might be another round of reconnoitering after we get through Saturday, but at least for this weekend, everybody seems relieved," Watson says.

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