The Seattle City Council will provide $34 million for a $73 million Pike Place Market expansion project, it was decided Monday.

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The Seattle City Council voted Monday to approve funding $34 million of a $73 million Pike Place Market-expansion project that will include new shops, an underground parking garage and a new public plaza and walkway.

The council unanimously approved providing the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) with the $34 million from the city’s general fund. The council’s waterfront committee had previously recommended approval.

The expanded MarketFront project will provide more stalls, 300 additional short-term parking spaces, 40 low-income senior-housing apartments and 30,000 square feet of public open space. The PDA will use $3 million of its own money, several million dollars from grants and tax credits and issue bonds to reach $73 million.

Construction is to start in May and finish late in 2016, according to the City of Seattle.

“Pike Place Market is an iconic symbol and a major hub of community life in Seattle,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement Monday, thanking the council. “The MarketFront expansion will expand that role for the Market and provide much-needed parking, public space, affordable housing and improved pedestrian access to the waterfront.”

The Pike Place Market website says the project will help residents and visitors navigate the waterfront, the market and downtown.

“In reclaiming this parcel of the historic district, the Market is fulfilling a 40-year vision of those who fought to save it,” the website says. “In June 1974, the site was identified as part of the larger market historic district to be revitalized, restored and preserved. The MarketFront is also the first step in a larger vision to create a dynamic connection between downtown with the waterfront.”

The project site is on a .75-acre parking lot on Western Avenue, south of Victor Steinbrueck Park. The upper section of the plaza will have 47 new outdoor-day stalls, shielded with a glass canopy. Below and accessible from the lower plaza section will be 12,000 square feet of retail space for artistan-food purveyors. The PDA will build a garage with 300 parking spots under the plaza and new shops.

The project agreement transfers ownership of the area from the City of Seattle to the PDA. The Seattle Pike Place Historical Commission voted to approve the project earlier this year.

The Pike Place Market Foundation’s campaign to raise $9 million in private philanthropy has netted $2.1 million from 645 donors, called “piggybackers.” More information about the campaign is available at