Public Market Improvement Project


 A Great Market Getting Better

The City of Rochester Public Market has launched approximately $8 million in needed renovations and additions, to improve and expand Market amenities and the experience for vendors, shoppers and businesses.  This project will add a covered outdoor vending shed, replace the outmoded 1977 indoor vending shed and flanking food stand structures; and will expand the number of vendor stalls so additional vendors and a greater volume and diversity of products can be added to the marketplace.  In addition, more restrooms, a demonstration/education kitchen, and other amenities will be added to improve comfort and experience for visitors and vendors.

Throughout this project, the Market will maintain its regular open days and hours, and great care will be taken 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 the City of Rochester Public Market Improvement Project. Note that the renderings here are depictions of current plans and designs; they may not be exact, or final. Connect with us at or call us at 585-428-7282 if you'd like more information. (Vendor inquiries, call 585-428-6907.) Stay tuned also to our Facebook page for project updates, images and videos!  

Updates 6-13-17

  •  The new outdoor, covered "D" Shed is complete and temporarily enclosed to house indoor shed vendors while their building is replaced.   This 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.  The indoor vendors will be housed in "D" until late summer 2017, when they will move back into the new indoor shed, and when the "D" Shed will have its temporarily enclosure removed. 
  • The old indoor "B" ("winter") shed has been demolished to make way for the new one, which is well underway, with the exterior and interior just about complete. Soon, indoor shed vendors will start custom build-out of their spaces, and then move in.  
  • 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. 

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

Project Details 

New Covered Outdoor "D" Shed  

 In 1963, an original covered outdoor shed, built in 1904, was demolished. Recently completed is a new outdoor covered “D” Shed, modeled after the original, close to its original footprint. This new shed adds approximately 46 new 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 outdoor shed has been temporarily enclosed and heated to house the existing indoor “B" Shed vendors during the construction of the new indoor shed.   Click on the image at right for a cool comparison of the new "D" Shed, and its inspiration, the original "A" Shed (photo from about 1915).  


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

In October, the current indoor shed, or "B" or "Winter" Shed was demolished to make way for a brand new indoor shed.  This 13,000 square-foot venue will provide vending spaces that better meet the needs of farmers and merchants. In addition, this new shed will provide high energy efficiency and more comfort and accessibility for shoppers.  It will be naturally lit and in architectural harmony with the historic marketplace.  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 image at right for a closer look at a rendering of the coming new indoor shed.  The current indoor shed vendors have been moved to a temporarily enclosed new  "D" Shed while the indoor shed is replaced.  



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 are 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. Click on the image at right for a closer look at one of these new food stands (Zimmerman's). Also--see this link for other examples of adaptively-reused shipping containers:   


Aerial view of all existing elements and coming changes: 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). 

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--took six months and is now complete.  The current indoor "B" Shed vendors have been temporarily relocated to the temporarily enclosed and heated "D" Shed for the winter, spring and summer of 2016-2017.  The demolition of the old and construction of the new indoor "B" Shed will take approximately 9-10 months. Overall, the project will take approximately 16-18 months, with completion expected in mid-summer 2017. Here is a more detailed time table (subject to change):

  • 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 Empanada Stop, 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
  • Relocate four food stand vendors back to permanent locations:  complete 
  • Move indoor "B" Shed vendors into new shed: August 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 $8.5 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