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Pike Place 'MarketFront' Expansion Opens

The first Pike Place Market expansion in 40 years had its grand opening Thursday.

The MarketFront is a largely outdoor pavilion near the northwest end of the market. It features four new indoor tenants near Western Avenue and a covered plaza for day stalls upstairs.

During the opening, some of Pike Place's regular artists demonstrated their work in the plaza. 

Credit Simone Alicea / KNKX
Stacey Sterling paints an underwater landscape in the covered plaza on the MarketFront.

Stacey Sterling is working on a painting of an underwater landscape. She said she has been selling her work at the market for more than a decade.

"It's fantastic to see this. To bring the indoors outdoors, and the public has so much more space," Sterling said.

Locals know how crowded the market can get during the summer busy season. The hope is this new pavilion will help.

"Because the one thing the market hasn't had for decades is enough space in nice weather for everybody to hang out," said John Turnbull, director of asset management for the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority.

The expansion also includes low-income housing for seniors and a center for social services.

The view of Puget Sound currently includes the viaduct. But once the highway comes down, the MarketFront is expected to connect to a revamped waterfront.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.