Farmer's Market to Relocate! Why not Downtown?October 25, 2006 13 comments Print Article
The Jacksonville Farmer's Market on Beaver Street is being forced to relocate. Instead of letting this local cultural institution move out to the suburbs (like Florida Coastal School of Law, UNF and most of downtown's retail base), lets attempt to move it downtown before its too late. Why? Click on read more to find out.
Jacksonville’s Beaver Street Market in 1976
Constructed in 1938, the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market is only major public market left in the city. Purchased by Beaver Street Fisheries in 1985, this marketplace still draws hundreds of customers each week for a wide selection of fruits and vegetables. Activity at the market comes in waves. Typically, before dawn, farmers bring their crops in for wholesale. The wholesale distributors and restaurant owners arrive soon after. Later, homemakers and passers-by make their way through the tin-canopied sheds. The peak season occurs during the summer when as many as 30 farmers start hauling in corn, peas, okra, eggplant and other crops. It is not uncommon for farmers and vendors to travel 150 miles to bring their vegetables and fruits to Jacksonville. We learn this week, that the JEDC has approved an incentive package for Beaver Street Fisheries to expand, that will force the historic marketplace to relocate.
With our mind set on revitalizing the core, we at the Metro Jacksonville community feel our elected leaders and community have the perfect opportunity to come together in working to make sure the relocation of this vibrant and historic marketplace happens closer to the downtown core.
The Farmer’s Market’s sheds are located at the base of the Beaver Street viaduct. Most communities would love to have something like this still in operation in the inner city. While many struggle to attract the vendors needed to make a market successful, we already have them. With the market being forced to relocate, we need to take advantage of the situation and find a way to get a replacement facility closer to the downtown core. This would be beneficial to all parties, because a higher profile location means more customers for the vendors and a downtown market brings additional visitors into the CBD, as well as increases the possibility of market rate revitalization around the facility.
(an excerpt from www.pps.org)
Photos of Washington DC's Eastern Market
Historically, markets have been proven to do the following: