Two Options Presented for Improving Charlottesville City Market - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Two Options Presented for Improving Charlottesville City Market

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In Charlottesville, one thing is certain: people love their markets, so much so that the relocation of the city market is a topic of great debate. Monday night, city staff heard from the public on where it thinks the market should go.

The popular Charlottesville City Market has grown over the years, adding more vendors and drawing more customers to its downtown location.

There's no doubt that the Charlottesville City Market has grown and continues to grow in popularity. Charlottesville City Council asked city staff to explore how best to expand the City Market. A study was conducted that included the option of creating a market district, which would create multi-day operations in coordination with surrounding businesses and create an indoor/outdoor space.

The current seasonal market operates on Saturdays on Water Street, with two additional Charlottesville markets on different days in different locations. Monday night, city market vendors and a few customers got their first look at two options to improve it.

Option one would keep the market in the same location with improvements that include adding trees, creating a seating area and widening parking spaces, an option some vendors are in favor of.

"I do kind of like the one up top, the old one because we have been there for 20 years and people like the fact that we've been there for 20 years," said vendor Cyane Williams.

Option two would move the market a block over to Garrett and First streets with similar improvements. But its proximity to train tracks has many worried.

"I think some people – especially people with kids – are going to hesitate if we're next to the railroad tracks, I really do," Williams said.

Both options would allow the potential for growth and space for new vendors.

Exact figures have not been calculated yet, but those behind the project say both options are low-cost.

"There's no structures required in either of them. There's landscaping, there's planting, maybe some walls, a small building for restrooms but as far as building a permanent home for the market, these are about as minimal as you can get," said Brevy Cannon, with the Charlottesville Market District Alliance.

The feedback from both options will be taken into consideration to come up with a final report to present to city council. City staff hopes to have that ready in about two months.

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