Public Market Upgrading Winter Shed

- Some major changes are on the way to help keep it on the fast track.

It is a $6.5 million project. One of the biggest changes will be with the winter shed. It is getting a new location. Vendors say they have reservations with the project, but it needs to be done. John Bolton, owner of Bolton Farms in Hilton, has been selling his lettuce and herbs at the public market for five years. He is normally located in the winter shed, but he says the market has plans to relocate him in a new, more modern shed it is going to build. Bolton says the project is a great investment long-term, but he has some concerns. 

"People come to the downtown market because they can get any type of grub they want. They love it because of the atmosphere and music and I'm concerned they're going to upscale it too much and price a lot of vendors out of the areas we're in," he said.

Tracie Lamb is an employee at Juan and Maria's Empanada shop. She says on Saturday, they see more than 1,000 people in line. Juan and Maria's are one of four restaurants that will be demolished. They will be running out of food trucks until new buildings are constructed for them.

"We've been talking about food trucks and we've been telling Juan 'hey I'll go do one in Webster and someone else will stay downtown;' and we're sure we can get people that way," she said.

Public Market directors want vendors to have more space to sell, but they want to keep the feel of the Public Market the same. Bolton agrees- with the upgrades will come more people.

"I think they're working very hard to make sure it works as well as it can for everybody. People are hesitant to change, let's face it. But at the end of the day it will work out," he said.

The market's director says they hope to begin construction on the shed this fall. They hope the project will go out to bid in July. For more information on the public market, click here.

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