Proposed Mall on the Bay

In 1985, a group of developers proposed a large retail mall in the parking lot that now houses the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market. The City of Traverse City was prepared to give the property to the developers as a way to revitalize a struggling downtown. The four-story mall spanning from Cass Street to Union Street would have changed the entire character of Traverse City’s waterfront. Grant Parsons worked with other local advocates to challenge the development, successfully arguing that the disposition of parkland required a vote of the people. In 1986, voters rejected the Bayview Mall, preserving the Boardman and lakefront views we value today.