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.”
Up until last week, everyone who has reviewed Susan Jordan’s firing, from state hearing officers to a circuit court judge to the Court of Appeals of Virginia, agrees that she was unfairly terminated—everyone except her former employer, the University of Virginia Medical Center. It wasn’t until
A fired Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic, who found a bottle of booze allegedly planted in his desk and a city-installed spycam to catch him with the contraband, was reinstated to his job a year ago. It took a bit longer for the city to agree to pay the $16,000 in legal fees he racked
In 2000, Charlottesville had seven movie theaters. For most of 2015, it had one—Regal Stonefield Stadium 14 and IMAX—until the Violet Crown Cinema opened downtown late last year. “That’s one theater too many for Regal,” says Adam Greenbaum, owner of the Visulite in Staunton and the beloved
A house on East Jefferson Street, flanked by doors that could hardly be opened, was deemed unfit for human occupancy for being littered with items that made it “impossible to safely travel through the house in the event of an emergency,” just weeks before the emergency responders evacuated a
University of Virginia women’s tennis team head coach Mark Guilbeau announced that five players on the team would be suspended indefinitely for “violations of team rules” just hours before the No. 7 nationally ranked Cavaliers took on South Carolina at the Boar’s Head Sports Club January 29.
We’re going to kick off this week’s column with an unusual bit of product placement. Although we rarely endorse anything outside of C-SPAN call-in shows, we would like to take this moment to declare the Broadway musical Hamilton the best piece of politically inspired stagecraft since
Charlottesville — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a group founded by a self-described “pickup artist” is planning an international meet-up day February 6 in 165 cities and 43 countries—including Charlottesville’s Lee Park. The group Return of Kings has been described
The General Assembly is in full swing and the No.1 agenda item is to craft a two-year budget. Governor Terry McAuliffe’s budget included Medicaid expansion, which the Republican-controlled legislature has repeatedly said was DOA, so there was that going into the session. Here’s what some of our
A year ago, then-mayor Satyendra Huja announced his dislike of a plan for the West Main streetscape that had been in the works since 2013—the third such study on the corridor that connects the University of Virginia and the Downtown Mall since the 1990s, according to his recollection. Thus the
The U.S. District Court in Charlottesville ruled January 25 to grant “in part” Nicole Eramo’s motion to compel Jackie, the woman at the center of a now-discredited Rolling Stone article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, to release relevant communications in Eramo’s defamation
It was pretty challenging being a pedestrian after winter storm Jonas dumped more than 15 inches on Charlottesville. City code requires that sidewalks be cleared within 24 hours after the snow stops. Once City Manager Maurice Jones declared the storm officially over the evening of Saturday,
Three St. Anne’s-Belfield seniors hoped to draw attention to the current positioning of a nearly hidden plaque that commemorates the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Vinegar Hill that was razed by urban renewal in the ’60s. The students presented a petition to City Council
Starting this week, fans of the quiz show “Jeopardy” will see relatively younger contestants on screen as the show hosts university students from across the United States to compete for a chance to win $100,000. Among these contestants is the University of Virginia’s own Adam Antoszewski, a
A Virginia Tech student is charged with abduction and murder after a 13-year-old Blacksburg girl, Nicole Lovell, went missing last week. Dan and Gil Harrington, parents of a slain daughter who disappeared from Charlottesville six years ago, speak out. “We have just heard that the body of your
Mark your calendars for the 2016 Founders Summit, a day of inspirational talks by world champion athletes, famed entrepreneurs and inventors, sponsored by the Tom Tom Founders Festival in partnership with the iLab at UVA. Speakers for this year’s day-long Summit will gather at the Paramount
A new apartment complex is in the works for West Main, but the Board of Architectural Review has already ruled out tearing down some of the street’s oldest buildings to accommodate the building. Developer Jeff Levien says he would prefer to demolish Blue Moon Diner and the next-door convenience
Nine months have passed since library patron Mike Powers voiced his concern over a sex-ed display in the front lobby of the main branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Following April’s public outcry, on January 25 the library’s board of trustees approved proposed changes to its
An owner of the two-story brick building on West Market Street says a partial demolition is currently underway after a January 25 roof collapse. “It would’ve happened one way or another,” owner Josh Rogers says. He and his partners had plans to renovate the 206 W Market St. building for their
Escafé is a popular place to get a drink, a place a group of people out on the town might choose for a nightcap later in the evening. “It’s an end-up place,” says owner Todd Howard. And that has the restaurant in trouble with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. That’s because
Innovations surrounding our health—both personal and global—are happening every day. Whether it’s the invention of a new technology or the discovery of how a disease works on a molecular level, every advancement puts us one step closer toward enjoying a collective healthier life. In this issue