Public Market Improvements - A Great Market Getting Better


In the fall of 2015 the Rochester Public Market will launch 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 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 coming changes. While the renderings in this document are accurate depictions of current plans and designs, they may not be exact, or final. Plans for projects like this may need some modification or tweaking as the process unfolds.  Please connect with us at 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 "B" or "Winter" Shed 

The indoor shed —or “B" Shed, 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 (including a wider aisle), and high energy efficiency. This state-of-the-art structure will be more spacious, naturally lit, attractive to the eye, and in architectural harmony with the Market’s historic, iconic curved outdoor “A" Shed that we all adore, and the rest of the older Market buildings. 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 

A new outdoor covered “D” Shed (“D”, above) will add 48 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 designed to look like the historic, curved “A" Shed, and will be temporarily  enclosed and heated to house the existing “B" Shed vendors during the construction of the new enclosed shed. This shed will re-create one that used to exist in this section of the Market.   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 enclosed shed—Scott’s, Cherry’s European, Juan and Maria’s Empanadas, Zimmerman's—will be replaced with more efficient, modern structures. The plan now is to temporarily and perhaps permanently relocate these businesses into boxcar-shaped, retired shipping containers. True! Around the world, these shipping containers are being repurposed into a fascinating array of houses, businesses, and more. (See this link for more examples of shipping containers: ) These new structures will provide better space and amenities for our beloved breakfast sandwich and empanada makers, and their addicted customers! 


Frequently Asked Questions

Will the rents increase for the vendors?  Vendor rental fees for covered outdoor spaces—in existing sheds and the new outdoor covered shed—will not change as a result of this project. The rental fees in the new enclosed shed will depend on the amenities the vendors choose—coolers, storage, cooking and product preparation facilities, etc. So for some, vendor rental fees may rise. However, we are confident that the gleaming new building will attract even more shoppers! We are also confident that products sold within this new building will remain a diverse offering, with much of it staying refreshingly affordable. 


Will more parking be added with this project?  There won't be any additional city-owned parking spaces created;  however, we recently added access to parking at the nearby Freddie Thomas Middle School on Saturdays (135 spaces). 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 parking lots during the super busy warm months (May-October). Remember, carpooling and taking alternative transportation (Walk! Bike! Bus!)  to the Market—and shopping on Tuesdays or Thursdays instead of Saturdays—alleviates parking shortages more cheaply and less destructively than paving more spaces!

Note: the main City lots are currently accessible via Railroad, Pennsylvania, Union, and Scio Streets. Scio Street access is encouraged on Saturdays as traffic on Union Street can get quite congested.


What are the funding sources for the project? Of the approximately $8 million total for the project, $2 million is coming from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; $1.5 million from state Regional Economic Development Council funds; and $500,000 in additional state funds secured by our state legislator David Gantt. The remainder will be covered by City of Rochester capital dollars and bonds.


Will the Market close during the construction period?  No way! While there will be some sights and sounds of construction, the Market will be open its regular scheduled days and hours throughout. Your usual pathways through the Market will likely have to change some—remember, the new outdoor “D” Shed will be built and temporarily enclosed for existing enclosed “B” Shed vendors and their customers before the existing enclosed “B” Shed is demolished to make way for the new construction.  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 fall of  2015 with the construction of the new outdoor covered “D” Shed. The current enclosed “B” shed vendors will be relocated to the temporarily enclosed and heated “D” Shed for the winter of 2015-16.  The demolition of the old and construction of the new enclosed “B” Shed should take approximately 12-18 months, meaning that in late 2016 the new enclosed shed will be complete and open, along with the new outdoor covered “D” Shed.


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 bumpy bricks and little cardboard vendors’ signs with the handwritten “$1.00” on them! The paramount goal of this project is to make the much-needed additions and improvements without compromising—but rather enhancing—the character of the Market.   


Will stores and cafes on “Commission Row” lose their outdoor sidewalk space with the new outdoor “D” Shed?  No. These outdoor gathering spaces are essential to the Market experience and also the Market’s vitality, so they will not be reduced or eliminated with the construction of the new outdoor covered shed.


Where will handicapped shoppers park after the new outdoor covered 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 need to be relocation of some of the 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.