Public Market Improvement Project


 A Great Market Getting Better

The City of Rochester Public Market has completed approximately $8.5 million in renovations and additions that improve and expand Market amenities and the experience for vendors, shoppers and businesses.  This project added a covered outdoor vending shed, a new 13,000 square-foot indoor vending shed, and four new stand-alone food stand structures.  This project has added 54 additional vendor stalls so more vendors and a greater volume and diversity of products can be offered at the Market. In addition, more restrooms, a demonstration/education kitchen, and other amenities have been added to improve comfort and experience for visitors and vendors.

Updates 8-14-17

  • On Wednesday, July 12, Mayor Lovely Warren led a festive ribbon-cutting that signals the completion of the 15-month Public Market improvement project, and the beginning of a new era at the Market!  See photos from the ribbon-cutting event  
  • The new indoor "B" Shed is complete and open for business.  Some vendors are still building out and arranging their spaces in the new building, but the building will be open for full service on Saturday, July 15. This includes the new restroom facilities in the back-center of the new building--most easily accessible by walking through the center doors. See map below.
  • The new outdoor, covered "D" Shed, which had been temporarily enclosed to house indoor shed vendors while their building was replaced, is fully open for business as an outdoor shed, with space for 46 new outdoor vendors.  This "D" Shed is a replica of an original shed that was built in 1904 and demolished in 1963, and is between the main "A" Shed and the "Commission Row" of buildings at the north end of the Market that house coffee shops, cafes, and the like.  See map below.
  • All four stand-alone food stand businesses receiving new structures--Scott's, Juan and Maria's, Zimmermans, and Cherry's--are in their new structures and after temporary staging near the Union Street gateway entrance, have been moved back to their original locations flanking the new indoor shed.  See map below.

Read below for more details on the timetable and phases of the entire project.

Project Details 

New Covered Outdoor "D" Shed  (April-October 2016)

 In 1963, an original covered outdoor shed, built in 1904, was demolished.  A new outdoor covered “D” Shed, modeled after the original, has been built close to its original footprint. This new shed adds 46 new outdoor vending spaces and was constructed between the existing outdoor sheds and the "Commission Row" of buildings that now house coffee shops, cafes and other businesses. This new shed was temporarily enclosed and heated to house the existing indoor “B" Shed vendors during the construction of the new indoor shed.   


 New Indoor "B" ("Enclosed", "Winter") Shed  (October 2016-July 2017)

In October, the current indoor shed, or "B" or "Winter" Shed was demolished to make way for a brand new indoor shed.  This new 13,000 square-foot venue is now complete and open for business. It provides space that better meet the needs of modern-day vendors, and also provides high energy efficiency and more comfort and accessibility for shoppers--including large new restroom facilities. The vaulted design provides a spacious feel,  and the glass front face makes for a bright, naturally lit interior. (High efficiency LED light fixtures back up the natural light.) What's more, the front is lined with bay doors that allow the building to be opened to the outside in good weather, for a more open-air feel.   



New Food Stand Structures

The famous and favorite food stands flanking the existing indoor shed have been replaced with new, more efficient structures custom-fabricated from boxcar-shaped, repurposed shipping containers. Around the world, shipping containers are being repurposed into a fascinating array of housing, offices, businesses and much more! 

These new food stands were temporarily relocated on the west end of the Market near the Union Street gateway while their current sites were improved and prepared for the new structures; by May 10, all four stands were moved back to their original sites flanking the new indoor shed. 


Aerial view of all existing elements: Click the image at the right to see the whole thing! 


Frequently Asked Questions

Will the Market close during the construction period? No way! While there will some sights and sounds of construction and some necessary detours and relocations, the Market will be open its regular scheduled days and hours throughout (Tuesdays and Thursdays 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., and special events days). 

What are the phases of the project?  

  • Site preparation work for new outdoor, covered "D" Shed: April-May 2016 complete 
  • Construct new "D" Shed: May 2016-October 2016 complete  
  • Move four stand-alone food vendors (Scott's, Juan and Maria's, Cherry's, Zimmerman's) to new structures at temporary location: complete 
  • Move current indoor "B" Shed vendors to temporarily enclosed new "D" Shed: September 2016  complete  
  • Abatement and demolition of existing indoor "B" Shed:  complete 
  • Construct new indoor "B" Shed: November 2016 – July 2017  complete 
  • Relocate four food stand vendors back to permanent locations:  complete 
  • Move indoor "B" Shed vendors into new shed and open for business: July 2017 complete 

Will these renovations and additions compromise the character of the Market that we know and love? We've heard this concern expressed by many a shopper and vendor and take it to heart.  The City and design team realize that we have something very special at the Market: the architecture, the atmosphere, history, variety, diversity, affordability...right on down to the old bricks and little cardboard vendors' signs with the handwritten "$1" on them!  The paramount goal of this project is to make the much-needed improvements and additions without compromising--but rather enhancing--the character of the Market.  Keep in mind that the main elements of this project were putting a replica of an original outdoor, covered shed demolished in 1963 back near its original site; and that the new indoor shed is much more architecturally harmonious with the historic Market than the previous indoor shed, which was built of concrete in 1978.

Will more parking be added with this project? There won't be additional city-owned parking spaces created. However, we recently added Saturday parking at the nearby Freddie Thomas Middle School (135 spaces, 625 Scio Street). Note that the Market and private lots in the wider Market District have collectively added about 1,000 parking spaces over the last decade--and this has been accomplished without demolishing properties and with minimal impact on our neighbors in the surrounding Marketview Heights neighborhood. We will also be continuing our free trolley service to the City and Freddie Thomas School parking lots. Remember, carpooling and walking/cycling/using the bus, using the Saturday East End Garage Marketmobile Shuttle (May-September) are all good ways to get to and from the Market!

Where will handicapped shoppers park after the new outdoor, covered "D" Shed goes up? The number of handicapped parking spaces will remain the same, but several have been relocated.  You can ask any of our onsite traffic guards to direct you to available/relocated handicapped parking.  

Note: See the Market's main page for more information on transportation and parking.

What are the funding sources for the project? Of the approximately $8.5 million for the project, $2 million is coming from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, $2.0 million from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council funds, and $500,000 from the Dormitory Authority of New York State (secured by State Assemblyman David F. Gantt). The remaining $3.5 million will be provided by City of Rochester capital dollars and bonds.   

Will rents increase for Market vendors? Vendor rental fees for covered outdoor spaces--in existing sheds and the new covered outdoor shed--will not change as a result of this project.  Rental fees in the new indoor shed will depend on the amenities vendors choose--coolers, storage, cooking and product preparation facilities, etc.  So for some, vendor rental fees may rise. However, we are confident that the vastly improved new indoor shed will attract even more shoppers! We are also confident that products sold within this new building and the other sheds will remain diverse and affordable.

How can I learn more, ask questions, express opinions? 

  •  Email the Public Market or call 585-428-7282
  • City's Construction Project Manager, Andy Wojewodzic: email or 585-428-6523
  • LeChase Construction Management Services field office: 585-633-4598

Additional information and updates on the project will also be posted to this page, and to our Facebook page:

Return to the Public Market Main Page