Public Market Improvements - A Great Market Getting Better


In spring 2016*, the Rochester Public Market will launch approximately $8 million on 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 the coming changes.  Note that the renderings here are depictions of current plans and designs; they may not be exact, or final. Plans for projects of this scale may need some modification or tweaking as the process unfolds.  Connect with us at or call us at 585-428-7282 if you'd like more information. (Vendor inquiries, call 585-428-6907.)

 * Update 12/15: The bid package for the Market renovation and addition project was advertised in late August, and bids were received in September. The submissions were reviewed by the project team; unfortunately, the bids received were higher than our estimates and for this reason the team decided to make modifications to the bid documents and rebid the project. The City remains committed to moving this project forward. The goal is to have the project back out to bid sometime in December 2015, which will delay grounbreaking until spring 2016. Over the winter, the project team will be meeting with the indoor/enclosed shed and food kiosk vendors to further develop specific designs for the new vending and kiosk spaces.

Here's what's coming:  

Rebuilt Indoor ("B") Shed Rebuilt Indoor  

The indoor shed--or "B", or "Winter" Shed ("B", above)--will be entirely replaced with a new enclosed building.  This 13,000 square-foot venue will provide vending spaces that better meet the needs of our farmers and merchants (better water, sewer, utilities, storage, cooking/product preparation facilities). In addition, this new shed will provide more comfort and accessibility for shoppers, and high energy efficiency.  This state-of-the-art structure will be naturally lit, attractive to the eye, and in architectural harmony with the Market's historic, iconic curved outdoor "A" Shed (c. 1904), and the rest of the older Market buildings and grounds.  In addition, this new structure will open to the outside for vendors and shoppers as weather permits! Click the image at right for a closer look.   


New Covered Outdoor Shed 

In 1963, the original "A" Shed, a covered outdoor shed built in 1905, was demolished to make room for surface parking. This project will erect a new outdoor covered “D” Shed (“D”, above), modeled after the original "A" Shed, near its original site. This new shed will add over 50 new vending spaces and be constructed between the existing outdoor sheds and the "Commission Row" of buildings that now house coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, a cheese shop, art galleries and studios, 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.  Click image to see close-up of location of the new outdoor shed, and other current and coming Market structures.  






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 temporarily and permanently house these businesses into boxcar-shaped shipping containers. Around the world, shipping containers are being repurposed into a fascinating array of housing, offices, businesses, and much more.  See this link for examples of adaptively-reused shipping containers:





Frequently Asked Questions

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 a diverse offering, much of it staying refreshingly affordable.

Will more parking be added with this project? There won't be additional city-owned parking spaces created with the project; however, we recently added access to parking at the nearby Freddie Thomas Middle School on Saturdays (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!

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

Will the Market close during the construction period? No way! While there will some sights and sounds of construction, 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).  Your usual pathways through the Market may have to change some--remember the new outdoor covered "D" Shed will be built and temporarily enclosed for existing indoor "B" shed vendors and their customers before the existing indoor shed is demolished to make way for the new building.  So your Market routine may have to shift a bit during construction--but we're confident it won't be crimped!

When will the project be started and completed? We anticipate starting the project in the spring of 2016 with the construction of the new outdoor, covered "D" Shed.  The current indoor "B" Shed vendors will 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 should take approximately 12-18 months, meaning that in late 2017 the new indoor shed will likely be complete and open, along with the new outdoor, covered "D" Shed.

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; $1.5 million from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council funds; and $500,000 in additional state funds secured by our state legislator David F. Gantt. The remainder will be covered by City of Rochester capital dollars and bonds.   

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.


Where will handicapped shoppers park after the new outdoor, covered "D" Shed goes up? Right now there are many more handicapped parking spaces than required by code, and we plan to retain the same number even with the new outdoor shed. There will, however, need to be relocation of some of these spaces.  

How can I learn more, ask questions, express opinions?  Email us anytime at or call 585-428-7282.  Additional information and updates on the project will also be posted to this page, and to our Facebook page: