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.”
Though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline October 13, those opposing the $6 billion and 600-mile gas fracking project say they’re not going down without a fight. “It’s not over by any means,” says Kirk Bowers, a program coordinator with the local
Police had to intervene after an October 13 court hearing where three white nationalists were found guilty of failure to disperse during the Unite the Right rally, and then were chased into a nearby parking garage by people waiting for them outside the courthouse. Counterprotesters with their
Exactly two months after the summer’s Unite the Right white nationalist rally that left three dead and many injured, a legal group has filed an unprecedented complaint on behalf of Charlottesville, local businesses and neighborhood associations that could prohibit “unlawful paramilitary
They said they’d be back UVA alumni/white nationalist Richard Spencer, who was maced by police the last time he was here August 12, showed up at Emancipation Park under cover of dark October 7 for a tiki-torch flash mob that police say started around 7:40pm, lasted approximately five to
Perhaps you’ve heard by now that homegrown white nationalist Jason Kessler was indicted by a grand jury for perjury and released on bond October 3. While the guy who became famous in a small town for his crusade against Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy isn’t commenting on his most recent moment in the
“The so called ‘alt-right’ believes intimidation and intolerance will stop us from our work,” says Mayor Mike Signer in an October 8 press release after about 40 white supremacists held another torch-lit rally in Emancipation Park. “They could not be more wrong. We must marshal all our
By Alexa Nash Richmond, Virginia, was once the powerhouse of the South as the largest capital of the Confederate States of America. Today, one of the city’s most affluent streets, Monument Avenue, is home to five statues commemorating Civil War leadership—and one statue added more than 60 years
In the case of whether the city’s longstanding General Robert E. Lee statue should remain on its feet, a judge ruled October 4 that a lawsuit protecting it can go forward, and the black shrouds temporarily draped over Lee and his buddy, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, can also stay. In
Because no one can afford a house in this town Over the summer, we wrote about 15 housing and hotel projects on our radar, but in the blur of bulldozers and Tyvek coverings surrounding Fifth Street, we missed one. Almost directly across from the Albemarle County Office Building (and the police
When City Manager Maurice Jones introduced the man hired to investigate the events of Charlottesville’s summer of hate, he listed former U.S. attorney Tim Heaphy’s “critical eye,” his experience with law enforcement and investigations, and then he described the city as “partnering” with Heaphy.
Richard Wellbeloved-Stone sat in federal court this morning, often with his head in his hands, as he waited for an initial appearance before a judge on additional charges of child pornography production and child porn possession, on top of the 19 counts of making child porn he faces in state
A nationally recognized DNA expert says his conclusions provide further evidence that convicted murderer and former UVA student Jens Soering, who was charged with the 1985 murders of his girlfriend’s parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom, could be innocent—and that two killers who were
Monolith on West Main What wasn’t quite clear from renderings of The Standard, the deluxe student apartments now under construction across from The Flats on West Main Street, was just how massive and Soviet Bloc-looking the 499-space parking garage is. Good news: It’s going to be covered by the
A federal judge raised questions about an Albemarle police officer’s unprecedented late-night search of two African-American plaintiffs’ home for a piece of paper, and said a jury may find it was based on racial profiling. Fewer than two weeks before trial date, Judge Glen Conrad seemed
In the wake of the August 11-12 events, the 30th Virginia Film Festival harkens back to its earlier days when it had a theme every year. This year, it’s morphed into a sub-theme of “race in America” in partnership with Montpelier, according to festival director Jody Kielbasa.
The Georgia man charged with kicking a counterprotester who was on the ground in the Market Street Parking Garage August 12 was denied bond this morning in Charlottesville General District Court. Alex Michael Ramos, 33, appeared before Judge Bob Downer seeking bond for his release from
In a minuscule, stagnant holding room just feet away from a barely bigger solitary confinement cell where he’s been housed since he turned himself in to police August 23, “Crying Nazi” Christopher Cantwell, a self-proclaimed racist and alt-right radio shock jock, says he wishes he never came to
Another crop of alt-righters and counterprotesters arrested for acts related to the infamous Unite the Right rally were heard in Charlottesville General District Court today. Chattanooga, Tennessee, resident Troy Dunigan says he drove seven hours to plead guilty to a disorderly conduct charge
Rebranding hate If the #cvillestandsforlove looks familiar, like the “Virginia Is For Lovers” logo, for instance, that’s because Susan Payne, wearing her chair-of-the-Virginia-Tourism-Corporation-board hat, created the hashtag using the state’s 50-year-old iconic logo. “It’s the same family,”
By John Last On August 12, the streets around Emancipation Park were a riot of color: socialist red, antifa black, the white robes of clergy, bright rainbow flags. But in this broad coalition of anti-racist activists, at least one group was missing: Virginia’s Native American tribes. In