That great, beautiful dream in the sky — a public market full of local vendors offering craft services to eager patrons, à la Pike Place Market — is coming to downtown. The Colorado Springs Public Market just announced it will open “a fresh and prepared food marketplace” in the 122-year-old Payne Chapel, former home to the defunct Green Man Taproom, in early 2016.

“It’s been a long time coming but this project and destination make a perfect fit with the growing energy downtown,” says board president Dave Anderson in a press release. “As we welcome more people to live downtown, we’ll soon be able to feed them, while creating all kinds of new business opportunities along the way.”

Local leaders from Susan Edmondson, CEO of the Downtown Partnership, to Councilwoman Jill Gaebler lauded the move.

“General Palmer would be proud to see how his original gift continues to serve the community,” says Gaebler, a Public Market board member, in the release. “We envision many opportunities for continued community engagement in this wonderful and historic building.”

Future plans include a five-year, $5 million campaign to renovate the building and eventually expand it to 30,000 square feet.

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