It’s a farmers market! No, office space! No, a baseball stadium!

After years of starts-and-stops, the American Countryside Farmers Market in Elkhart is open again. The building’s 51,000 square feet of space is filled with restaurants, an auction area and retail shopping space.

The market served as a traditional farmers market from 2007 to 2010, but sat vacant for years as several developers planned various projects. None of them took hold until John Levy decided to turn the space into a community shopping center, The Elkhart Truth reported.

Levy, president of American Countryside Farmers Market LLC, said he wants the market to focus on the needs of local residents, not visitors.

“I want it to be retail successful. That’s my primary goal,” he told The Truth. “But whatever the community wants and needs, we’ll bring in here. We want this building to survive and thrive, so we’ll do whatever it takes.”

The American Countryside Farmers Market houses several restaurants, including Adam’s Bistro, on the first floor, as well as a bakery, ice cream shop and an oxygen bar. There’s also a stage for weekend auctions and musical performances.

On the second floor, shoppers can buy discounted items from a distributor that supplies national chains like Kohl’s. An Amish quilt shop and a jewelry store are also located on the second floor.

The market is located at 27751 C.R. 26 off the U.S. 20 Bypass. The market is now open and a grand opening celebration is planned for Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Read more about the oxygen bar, the items available for sale and the history of the American Countryside Farmers Market in the story from The Elkhart Truth.

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