March 31, 2014
When the City Market offices were destroyed at the end of last season, officials had to scramble to make sure the event moved forward.
But despite the major setback at the end of last season, they are ready to come back this Saturday with more vendors than ever.
They were located in the building in the same parking lot that has held the market for years.
Now, all that’s left is a hole in the ground.
But market management and vendors are trying to find a bright spot in the loss.
City Market manager Stephanie Anderegg-Maloy says the bottom floor of the office building housed offices that had to be accessible on Saturday mornings.
"We were able to add more vendors because previously in the past years the office was located kind of in the middle of the parking lot."
Now that those offices are gone, the market has actually been able to add more vendors.
"Yes, it ended up being positive."
She says it was important to them that they didn't let the fire interrupt business as usual. They know small businesses rely on the market.
Breadworks is getting ready for their first year at the market.
Manager Rebecca Overbey Powell says for businesses like theirs, it will give them a chance to get in front of roughly 5000 people every Saturday. She is excited about the potential foot traffic.
"I saw it as a way for people to find us down there. It’s easy with all these different vendors down there. And then they would be able to come see us on Preston Avenue."
Andregg-Maloy says the winter slowed down progress with the giant hole in the parking lot.
"They are going to put a wall and make it safe very soon. Unfortunately the winter has affected our progress on that."
City council decided back in October to solicit proposals from firms to redevelop the site to accommodate the market, new development and parking. The proposals were due at the end of this month.
The market will run every Saturday, April through October from 7am until noon.