Farmers market opens at Bessemer's Watermark Place

By Arielle Clay

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - Dozens of people showed up Saturday to Bessemer's Watermark Place to do some shopping outside of the stores.

"I worked here for five years I was the manager of the Nine West outlet and we recently closed," Tracey Oliver said.

Now Tracey Oliver is back at Watermark Place Outlet Center but not for work. She brought her daughter out to the outlet center's new farmers' market.

The farmers' market features fresh local produce and is the first step in new owner, Anthony Underwood's, plan to make Watermark Place into what he calls a premiere entertainment destination.

Underwood purchased the mall when just 11 stores remained at the 185,000 square foot facility. Now he plans to turn the grounds into an Alabama Expo he says comparable to Atlanta's Underground entertainment district.

"A combination of dining, shopping, and history here in Alabama," Underwood said.

Oliver thinks it's a good plan.

"I think it will be great for the mall to show people it's still here, it's not dying, and it's alive. And that's what a lot of people were worried about," she said.

"The farmers market is the start of having a community event here right now it's just once a week but eventually we'll have something every day to bring people together," Underwood said.

Underwood says he already has two new businesses secured for the center that will open in July.

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