Proposal to Improve Farmers Market

On Monday, the council’s Economic Development & Housing Committee was briefed on a plan to improve Farmers Market. In general, I am supportive of the plan. The Farmers Market, located in the southeast quadrant of Downtown, has an outdoor market with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as an indoor market with meat and specialty coffees and teas.

The Market is an important city asset, providing a place where local farmers can sell their products. Unfortunately, the Market has had some challenges responding to the needs of residents and vendors, and the goal of the study was to develop a plan to improve the market and increase business.

The plan suggests infrastructure improvements, creating a better traffic flow, having an independent management company oversee the Market, and focusing on unique local businesses (as opposed to national chains).

Vendors attended the meeting on Monday, and one of their concerns was that they did not feel involved in the process. I will be holding a meeting with them, and also meeting with Friends of Farmers Market to get input.

I welcome your thoughts. (

Councilmember Blaydes expressed concern about the proximity of the Market to the Homeless Assistance Center, and explained he didn’t want to support funding for the Market because the HAC would be such a detriment to business.

I would point out, however, that private investors are quickly purchasing property in this location and planning hundreds of new townhomes and apartments. They don’t seem to be deterred by the HAC. If they are investing there, and bringing new residents to the Farmers Market area, we should similarly invest in this important city asset.

You may review the proposal here.