The Charlottesville City Market rang up a record $1.2 million in 2009, more than six times what the market generated when it first moved to the Water Street lot in 1993. What’s more, 2010 will be the first year the market will accept food stamps and debit cards, which may spur more growth.
The Charlottesville City Market has called the Water Street parking lot home since 1993, but the city has looked at redeveloping the space at times. “I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that you can just plop some place,” says Cecile Gorham, chairwoman of local nonprofit Market Central.
However, some vendors feel that despite the market’s substantial growth, its future—namely, assuring it a more permanent location—is not a priority within city government.
“I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that you can just plop some place, and sometimes we get the feeling that that’s what’s being done,” says Cecile Gorham, a former vendor and chairwoman of the nonprofit group Market Central, which includes roughly 30 vendors.
The city owns the portion of the lot that hosts the market and, although it has never formally put the lot up for sale, it has examined ways that the space can be redeveloped. City Council briefly addressed the market’s plight last August. Councilors suggested Court Square and the Albemarle County Office Building lot on McIntire Road as possible new homes. According to Gorham, however, more thoughtful, inclusive debate is needed.
“I’m not against moving,” she said. “I just think that if you do, you have to have some compelling reasons and a long-term plan in place.”
Although Gorham supposes that the recession has slowed that examination, she wants to ensure that the market’s fate gets proper attention long before any development plans are sketched.
“You’re talking about as many as 90 vendors and 4,000 customers, and to just willy-nilly move them around—you want to look out for the long-term interest and you don’t want to be moving it around again when it doesn’t work out,” she said.
Current vendors have varying levels of concern, but the consensus among those with whom C-VILLE spoke was that they don’t have the time to devote to the market’s big picture.
“Great municipal leadership would be helpful on this issue,” said jam vendor Daniel Perry. “It’s difficult for the market community to confront this, and it’s telling that the people who are spearheading this effort are involved more on the conceptual level than they are with getting up at 5am to make their living selling product.”
Christine Solem, co-owner of Satyrfield Farm in Albemarle County, said she doesn’t mind the market’s current non-institutionalized feel. Solem, whose stand is known for its donation-only goat cheese, is not worried about the market’s future.
“We try to stay out of the big-picture planning,” she said. “Our general opinion is that [the market] is not going anywhere.”
Other vendors, such as the Bertoni family of Appalachia Star Farm, would like to see a more permanent arrangement.
“A covered structure would help,” said Kathryn Bertoni. “Weather dramatically affects our sales. A rainy weekend at the market hurts a lot.” Contacted for comment, Charlottesville Pavilion manager Kirby Hutto said that no one has spoken to him about use of the Pavilion for the market, but hypothetically he could “see some logistical issues as far as getting vendors in and out.”
Michael Bertoni pointed out that Charlottesville needs to leverage its “world-class” reputation and consider a roofed pavilion. Scottsville and Harrisonburg have recently built pavilions for their markets, he noted. “I think with Charlottesville being the city that it is, it’s time for a permanent structure, built specifically for the market.”
The Charlottesville commonwealth’s attorney today asked a judge to not prosecute a disorderly conduct charge against Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler stemming from the May 14 vigil at Emancipation Park, after torch-carrying white nationalists marched through it the night before.
The Lawn was illuminated in soft white candlelight last night as thousands of community members retraced the steps of the August 11 white nationalist tiki torch march from the University of Virginia’s Nameless Field to the Rotunda. Their message was of love and peace, and taking back what
It was the day that kept getting worse. The weekend from hell. Like many of you, C-VILLE Weekly is still processing Saturday’s violation from ill-intentioned visitors with antiquated notions who now believe it’s okay to say in broad daylight what they’ve only uttered in the nether regions of
Droves of community members clothed in shades of purple poured into the Paramount Theater August 16 to remember Heather Heyer, a local activist and paralegal who lost her life to what some have called an act of domestic terror the weekend before. “They tried to kill my child to shut her up.
In the most devastating blow of the Unite the Right rally, a local activist and paralegal lost her life to a white supremacist in a Dodge Challenger. Heather Heyer, 32, is remembered by many as sweet and funny with impeccable wit. “She always had a very strong sense of right and wrong. She
A month ago during the July 8 KKK rally, police were accused of overreacting and escalating things when they deployed tear gas on protesters at an event that was already breaking up. At the August 12 Unite the Right rally, they faced the opposite complaint: That they stood and watched assaults
Photos taken during the Unite the Right rally and counterprotest at Emancipation Park, as well as the alt-right gathering at McIntire Park, and demonstrations at Justice Park and the Downtown Mall area today. Photos by Eze Amos, Lisa Provence, Jessica Luck, Hawkins Dale and Aaron Cohen.
A 32-year-old woman died following today’s long-anticipated white nationalist assembly in Emancipation Park, and two Virginia State Police pilots perished in a crash late in the afternoon near the Bellair neighborhood. The Unite the Right rally erupted in violence and was shut down before it
“If equality and diversity aren’t for you, then neither are we,” say signs popping up on the Downtown Mall ahead of Saturday’s Unite the Right rally, which several groups have predicted could be the largest gathering of white supremacists in recent history. The rainbow-colored signs conclude
First the Loyal White Knights of the KKK July 8 and now the Unite the Right rally August 12. Charlottesville has become quite the magnet for white nationalists since City Council voted in April to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee and rename two Confederate general-monikered parks. Oh,
The Rutherford Institute and the ACLU of Virginia have given the city of Charlottesville until 12pm today to respond to their letter demanding city leaders allow Jason Kessler to hold his August 12 Unite the Right rally in Emancipation Park. When city manager Maurice Jones announced August 7
Despite the history of a failed wind farm in Highland County, a local renewable energy firm is on track to build the first one in Virginia. Apex Clean Energy, which has 167 employees in Charlottesville, received a permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in March to build
Miss out on a week of Albemarle County happenings? On August 2 the Board of Supervisors voted to only require a business license for those making at least $25,000 a year, instead of the previous $5,000 threshold. They’ve requested a new entrance for the proposed Hedgerow Park, and will soon ask
Was the four-legged visitor weeks early for its move-in date? Community members took to social media to share photos of a black bear flouncing around UVA Grounds August 1. A state wildlife biologist tranquilized it outside the Children’s Hospital, loaded it into a truck, and, after the drug
Ludwig Kuttner, owner of the IX complex, threatened last week to stop the community events held at the Art Park because its city land assessment went up 400 percent. And on August 7, the Board of Equalization said it was affirming the city’s valuation. At an August 1 board hearing, Kuttner
For years, Charlottesville has been quietly becoming a leading tech hub in Virginia and on the East Coast. Meet three of the businesses and programs that are spearheading the charge into the growing field of robotics. Perrone Robotics Crozet residents are aware that big things are happening in
The man who was convicted of abduction with intent to defile and who spent two-and-a-half years in jail before the alleged victim’s story fell apart filed suit July 14 against the former commonwealth’s attorney who prosecuted him. Mark Weiner, now living in Maryland, filed a civil lawsuit in
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline July 21, and it said the proposed 600-mile, $5.5 billion natural gas pipeline will have a “less than significant” impact on the environment. “The [final environmental
White nationalist-event organizer Jason Kessler obtained a special event insurance policy for his Unite the Right rally planned for August 12 in Emancipation Park, although the city does not require one for demonstrations. Good thing for Kessler, because newly uncovered problems with the
As Charlottesville braces for an influx of alt-white nationalists, 43 business owners have demanded the city enforce its regulations for special events, pastors are calling for 1,000 faithful around the nation to stand with them and the Central Library has announced it will close August 12 for