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.”
Albemarle County Police announced increased enforcement on the James River this summer, including cops in kayaks, and C-VILLE immediately asked the question on the minds of potential tubers: If I have a beer while floating down the James, am I going to be busted? “My police officers
Since University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan was fired—and reinstated—in 2012, there have been calls for change in both how the Board of Visitors is governed and who is on the board. With Governor Terry McAuliffe’s last round of five appointees, critics say there’s still too little
A former member of the University of Virginia swim team has filed a lawsuit against five of his former teammates for incidents including hazing, false imprisonment, and assault that occurred last fall. Anthony Marcatonio’s suit, filed in federal court on June 26, alleges that in the late
In politics, as in life, there are weeks that simply take your breath away. Weeks where things move so quickly, and with such unexpected force, that it feels like the laws of physics have been suspended, and that time is suddenly moving at twice its normal speed. So it was last week, when the
Albemarle Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins rebuffed the arguments of Jesse Matthew’s attorney that she recuse herself from Matthew’s capital murder trial for the slaying of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham because she has a daughter who was a second-year student at UVA
Though the health of the Rivanna River watershed has consistently failed to meet one of five Virginia water quality standards, a new report shows that its conditions are improving. According to David Hannah, the executive director of StreamWatch—a local nonprofit that assesses watershed health
Even the prosecutor admitted respected journalist, writer and humanitarian Donovan Webster, 56, “presents as a good and decent man who made a horrible, horrible choice.” Then he asked for a sentence in years, not months, for the drunk driving crash that killed Waynesboro patriarch
The mixed-use residential complex going up on West Main and 10th streets now has an official name: Uncommon. And the developers have a description of the type of people they hope will live there. “Uncommoners are trendsetters who don’t try too hard,” the development’s website says, but this hip
Power. We know it when we feel it. Sometimes it’s a server who dawdles while taking our order when we’re starving. Or, on a grander scale, it’s the people who hire and fire, who make the decisions that affect people’s lives, both for good or ill, and in at least a couple of cases, even […]
Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman spent nearly three hours June 17 presenting almost every scrap of information about Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents’ March 18 takedown of UVA student Martese Johnson that left him with 10 stitches on his forehead. The prosecutor,
The man accused of killing Robin and Mani Aldridge is now charged with capital murder in the commission of a robbery and robbing a residence. On June 18, Gene Everett Washington and his attorney appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court to learn the additional charges. Investigators believe
When C-VILLE reported last week about how much money was raised and spent in the June 9 Democratic primary, “Big money: Dede Smith voted out in high-dollars primary,” the article didn’t make clear that the numbers used were from a May 27 filing and the final numbers won’t be in until July 15.
“I felt utterly helpless,” she said. “I feared this was to be the end of my life.” A rapt Fairfax courtroom gave the woman attacked by Jesse L. Matthew Jr. a chance to convey the terror he inflicted, testimony that could play a role in putting Matthew behind bars for
In Charlottesville, incumbency is no guarantee of retaining a seat on City Council, even if you’re vice mayor. Just ask Meredith Richards, ousted by her own party in 2004, or Julian Taliaferro, who didn’t get the Dems’ nod in 2009. It happened again June 9, when Vice Mayor Dede
The Rotunda is the central structure of University of Virginia’s present and past. It’s a neoclassical architectural masterpiece designed by the founder, Thomas Jefferson, that has become so revered that the UN named it a World Heritage Site. And now, as part of a $52-million
Within two minutes, charges for public drunkenness and obstruction of justice against UVA student Martese Johnson were dropped Friday morning, and supporters in the courtroom burst into applause—followed by an order from the judge for quiet in the courtroom. Charlottesville Commonwealth’s
Gene Everett Washington’s DNA was found on a blood-stained knife, towels and rubber gloves in a dumpster outside of his Barracks West apartment, according to evidence presented in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court June 11. The DNA also matched that of Mani Aldridge, the
Lake Anna has shown great hospitality to an unwanted guest for over two decades. Hydrilla, an aquatic weed not to be confused with the mythological nine-headed marsh serpent Hydra, has festered in its waters since 1990. The bad news (for some) is it’s spreading again. The good news (for all) is
“Good news,” tweeted Amherst-area Delegate Ben Cline. “VA Supremes endorse our Sweet Briar argument. Back to Bedford Circuit for rehearing and hopefully injunction to stop closure!” With its opinion rendered less than two business days after an already accelerated
Well, there you go. The feverish excitement of Virginia’s primary season is over, with literally dozens of voters flooding the polls, and now almost every general election candidate is busy preparing for the big show in November. We say “almost” every candidate, because there are still a number