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.”
You know, it takes a special kind of politician to unite elected officials from all points of the political spectrum. When was the last time you can remember a lone figure whose bold actions drew the same response from his own party and his opponents, from liberals and conservatives, and,
A stallion of the Lipizzan breed, Conversano II Aloha II, was trained to the highest level in Grand Prix dressage and ridden by owner Jean Thornton for 20 years. That is, until she sold him to Somerset farm owner Anne Shumate, who promised to care for the aging horse while riding him enough to
John Wayne Jordan, 50, a trustee at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, disappeared on a John Deere Gator and was on the lam for about 11 minutes from the time he was reported missing until he was captured November 24. Jordan was working for the Virginia Department of Forestry on
Popular youth coach Joe Mallory, 43, made news earlier this year when the Charlottesville Cavaliers were disqualified from the boys National Travel Basketball Association’s championship tournament for playing a girl on the team. In September, Mallory was in the news again, this time for
The holiday season is a time when giving and sharing is on everyone’s mind. And that is especially true of volunteers who give their time and share their skills with numerous organizations in the community year-round. So many organizations rely on volunteers for not only day-to-day upkeep tasks
This week, families and friends will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving by eating turkey and watching football. For many families, the Macy’s 89th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will also be on the agenda, and for.Virginia fans, it will be even more exciting. The Cavalier Marching
Three ABC agents and its director filed a motion in U.S. District Court November 16 to dismiss all seven claims in UVA student Martese Johnson’s $3 million lawsuit stemming from his encounter with agents last March that left him bloody and needing 10 stitches. Johnson alleges false arrest,
While California is experiencing its worst drought in more than a millennium, South Carolina was subject to extreme flooding in October and western wildfires have burned more than 9 million acres of land this year, one group aims to bring forewarning of extreme weather conditions closer to
High-end real estate agent Andrew Middleditch’s charges for driving under the influence for the second time and for involuntary manslaughter stemming from a Memorial Day crash that killed 78-year-old Lonnie Branham were certified to the grand jury in a November 19 preliminary hearing.
A group of UVA inventors has already won tens of thousands of dollars for an idea for pets that may have implications as a human male contraceptive. Contraline, a highly praised innovation by judges at UVA’s Entrepreneurship Cup and the Darden Business Plan competition, is an alternative to the
Amid a worldwide trend of alleged over-policing and law-enforcement scrutinization, the Charlottesville Police Department and the city’s Office of Human Rights hope a pocket-sized pamphlet they’re distributing will be a saving grace when it comes to interacting with cops. The pamphlet, called
Gallo is known for zealously defending its trademarks, and in 1986 the company sued Ernest and Julio’s younger brother for his Joseph Gallo Farms cheese. The wine company prevailed in the acrimonious court battle, which didn’t improve family relations. Now they are taking on local kombucha
UVA Darden professor June West was in Washington, D.C., last Friday evening, and saw a news crawl on CNN about attacks in Paris. “I said, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I immediately texted my son.” Her son, Benjamin West, has lived in Paris for 14 years. “They were at a party,” she says. “They couldn’t get
Former UVA student/convicted murderer Jens Soering has been in prison for 29 years for the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend’s parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom, in 1985. During that time, his case has become an international cause célèbre, and a request to repatriate him to Germany is again
Delegate David Toscano made two surprise announcements within two days. On November 12, he sent an e-mail to the Democratic caucus in the House of Delegates saying he was stepping down as minority leader. One day later, he says he changed his mind “when my cell phone blew up with caucus
Just five months after Ting launched its high-speed Internet network in Charlottesville, the company has given almost half the city access to the gigabit. Ting describes the gigabit as “lightning fast” (gigabit refers to a speed of one gigabit per second, and one gigabit equals 1,000 megabits),
On Tuesday, November 10, Piedmont Council for the Arts announced that executive director Gram Slaton will leave his current position effective November 15. The PCA Board of Directors hired Slaton in January. In May, Slaton was quoted in C-VILLE Weekly, saying that he hoped to avoid “constantly
Commuters into downtown Charlottesville found streets backed up and parking even more difficult than usual Friday morning, thanks to the Market Street Garage being closed for maintenance, and the Water Street Garage selling 150 parking vouchers for TEDx attendees. Streets around the Water
Before the movie began, anyone in the audience who was a World War II veteran was asked to come stand in front of the stage of the Paramount. ParadeRest, a local nonprofit, had organized a screening of the film Patton for veterans and their families on Memorial Day 2014. About 15 men stood
“It’s nasty—it had feces on the wall,” testified an inmate at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women during a November 9 settlement hearing. “It had blood,” she added, describing a trip to the prison infirmary. Cynthia Scott, 46, is one of five female prisoners who filed suit against the