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.”
At the same time Donald J. Trump was being sworn in as the United States’ 45th president, University of Virginia students and faculty joined area leaders on Inauguration Day with a call to walk out of class, join a rally on the Rotunda steps and attend walkouts, seminars and teach-ins on
Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the United States’ 45th president today, and hundreds of Charlottesvillians are heading to D.C., not to celebrate his inauguration but to protest it on Saturday at the Women’s March on Washington. Cynthia Neff is organizing eight buses, and she
The first time Maria’s husband was ticketed for driving without a license was after being stopped because of a broken taillight. The second instance occurred after he hit a deer. Both Maria and her husband are undocumented immigrants living in Charlottesville. They settled here after fleeing
Just hours before Ricky Gray’s scheduled execution for the murders of a Richmond couple and their two young daughters, a group of locals opposing the death penalty formed in front of Charlottesville Circuit Court. “Killing is not a solution. It’s never a solution,” says Virginia Rovnyak. “Mr.
A proposed historic conservation district in Woolen Mills has the neighborhood divided. While some residents are pushing for a neighborhood association-requested ordinance that would promise protection of their historic assets, others say the drafted rules concerning additional construction in
Kaine’s campaign continues Fresh on the heels of an unsuccessful run for vice president, Senator Tim Kaine was in Charlottesville January 13 at UVA’s Claude Moore Medical Education Building for a town hall with med students on the Affordable Care Act, which faces repeal by the GOP in Congress.
If it seems like we just finished an election, well, we did, but in Virginia, it’s never not an election year. In Charlottesville, the two seats on City Council currently held by Kristin Szakos and Bob Fenwick are up for grabs, and Szakos says she won’t be seeking another term. “Eight years is
Senator Tim Kaine, fresh on the heels of a losing run for vice president alongside Hillary Clinton, hosted a town hall event with UVA medical students Friday to discuss the Affordable Care Act. Kaine was recently appointed to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, alongside
Becky Blanton became invisible 10 years ago. She shared her story—how she went from working as a newspaper editor to living out of her van and eventually identifying as homeless—with her fellow entrepreneurs in a Community Investment Collaborative program in the fall of 2015. CIC runs a 16-week
Charlottesville resident Damian Stinnie, 24, grew up in foster care, and in 2013 was diagnosed with lymphoma. That same year, he was convicted of three traffic citations in Henrico and Goochland counties. Unable to pay the resulting $1,002 in court costs and fines with his minimum wage
Unlike NC… Governor Terry McAuliffe signs an executive order at UVA January 5 that prohibits state contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people, and notes that the Tar Heel State has lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of its bathroom bill. Delegate Bob Marshall
Even before she received a Drewary Brown Memorial Community Bridge Builders award in October, Holly Edwards was known for her care and compassion, and for bringing people who normally didn’t have voices to the table. The former vice mayor and parish nurse for Jefferson Area Board for Aging died
Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Rick Moore has granted a motion to continue the trial date in the $30 million civil suit against former UVA student George Huguely for the wrongful death of his on- and off-again girlfriend, Yeardley Love, whom he was convicted of murdering in February 2012.
Former congressman Tom Perriello announced his surprise candidacy for governor of Virginia Thursday, upsetting the plans of many leading Virginia Democrats. In a hastily arranged speech at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in downtown Charlottesville, Perriello spoke of how
Charlottesville’s legal community turned out today for Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania’s official announcement that he wants the job of his boss, Dave Chapman, who will not be seeking a seventh term. Chapman introduced and endorsed Platania, whom he hired in the
President-elect Donald Trump made stopping illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign. Legal immigration, however, is another matter, and son Eric Trump’s winery has filed a request with the U.S. Department of Labor to hire six foreign workers to prune grapevines. Trump Vineyard Estates
Sharonda Poindexter-Rose is a 24-year-old single mother who works as a server at a local restaurant. She lives in a one-bedroom home, and as she’s looked for a two-bedroom place over the last several months, she’s discovered a harsh reality. “It is so expensive out here, it’s ridiculous,” says
Name changer Relay Foods, the Charlottesville-based online grocer, merged with Door to Door Organics six months ago and announced January 2 that it will begin operating solely under the Door to Door brand come January 15. Zach Buckner founded Relay in 2009, and a release noted, “We would be
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rest of the world saw Charlottesville as the home of Dave Matthews. But to insiders, the beating heart of the local music scene could hardly have been more different from the frat-friendly hits of DMB. It was called The Dawning. A weekly goth night held in
In April, Gallo—the $4 billion corporation responsible for making Barefoot Wine—sued local mom-and-pop Barefoot Bucha purveyors Kate and Ethan Zuckerman for infringing on its name and logo’s trademark. The kombucha makers settled the suit in August by agreeing to change their name, and now,