Public Market Improvements - A Great Market Getting Better

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The City of Rochester Public Market has launched approximately $8 million in needed renovations and additions, to improve Market amenities and the experience for vendors, shoppers and businesses. Throughout this project, great care will be take to preserve the Market's character, history, variety, affordability and diversity.

This page is dedicated to sharing the facts and answering frequently asked questions and concerns about this project.  Note that the renderings here are depictions of current plans and designs; they may not be exact, or final.  Connect with us at pmarket@cityofrochester.gov or call us at 585-428-7282 if you'd like more information. (Vendor inquiries, call 585-428-6907.)

Here's what's coming:  

New Covered Outdoor "D" Shed  

After some utility and infrastructure work, a new outdoor, covered shed will be built. In 1963, an original covered outdoor shed, built in 1904, was demolished. This project will erect a new outdoor covered “D” Shed (“D”, above), modeled after the original, close to its original footprint. This new shed will add approximately 48 new vending spaces and will be constructed between the existing outdoor sheds and the "Commission Row" of buildings that now house coffee shops, cafes and other Market businesses. This new outdoor shed will be temporarily enclosed and heated to house the existing indoor “B" Shed vendors during the construction of the new indoor shed.  This piece of the project will commence in May 2016 and take approximately 6 months to complete.    Click on the image at right for a closer look at the coming new "D" Shed.  

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New Indoor "B" ("Enclosed", "Winter") Shed  

Once the new outdoor, covered "D" Shed is complete, the indoor shed, or "B" or "Winter" Shed ("B" above) will be entirely replaced with a new building. This 13,000 square-foot venue will provide vending spaces that better meet the needs of our farmers and merchants, to include better water, sewer, utilities, storage and cooking/product preparation facilities. In addition, this new shed will provide high energy efficiency and more comfort and accessibility for shoppers.  This state-of-the-art building will be naturally lit and in architectural harmony with the Market's historic environment.  What's more, this new indoor shed will open to the outside for vendors and shoppers as weather permits! Additional restrooms built as part of this phase of the project will triple the number of restroom stalls at the Market. Click the image at right for a closer look at the new "B" Shed.     

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New Food Stand Structures

The famous and favorite food stands flanking the existing indoor shed will be replaced with new, more efficient structures. The plan now is to house these businesses in custom-fabricated boxcar-shaped shipping containers. Around the world, shipping containers are being repurposed into a fascinating array of housing, offices, businesses and much more.  Our food stands will be temporarily relocated on the west end of the Market while their current sites are improved and prepared for the new structures. See this link for examples of adaptively-reused shipping containers: www.inhabitat.com/tag/shipping-container-architecture.   

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

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 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). 

When will the project be started and completed? The project launched in late April 2016. The first phase--utility and paving work and the construction of the new outdoor, covered "D" Shed--will take approximately 6 months.  The current indoor "B" Shed vendors will then be temporarily relocated to the temporarily enclosed and heated "D" Shed for the winter of 2016-2017.  The demolition of the old and construction of the new indoor "B" Shed will take approximately 10-12 months. Overall, the project will take approximately 16-18 months, with completion expected around October-November 2017.

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 are putting a replica of an original outdoor, covered shed demolished in 1963 back near its original site; and that the new indoor shed will be constructed largely of brick and glass, making it more architecturally harmonious with the historic Market than the current 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 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 will need to be 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 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 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: www.facebook.com/cityofrochesterpublicmarket.