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Public Market Improvement Project


 A Great Market Made Better

In July 2017, the City of Rochester Public Market completed $8.5 million in renovations and additions that improved and expanded Market amenities and the experience for vendors, shoppers and businesses.  This project added a new covered outdoor vending shed, a new replacement indoor vending shed (13,000 square feet), and four new stand-alone food stand structures.  This project has added 46 additional outdoor/covered vendor stalls so more vendors and a greater volume and diversity of products can be offered at the Market. In addition, more restrooms and other amenities have been added to improve comfort and experience for visitors and vendors.

Read below for more details on the phases and elements of the entire project.   
See an aerial diagram of the improved Market

Project Details  

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

 In 1963, an original covered outdoor "A" shed, built in 1904, was demolished.  A new outdoor covered “D” Shed, modeled beautifully after the original, has been built close to its original footprint. See photo here of original "A" (photo taken around 1915) compared to new "D"! 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 A-D BefAft

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

In October 2016, the "B" or "Winter" Shed, constructed in 1977, was demolished to make way for a much improved, brand new indoor shed.  This 13,000 square-foot building 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--tied into daylight sensors so they are only on when needed--back up the natural light.) The front is lined with bay doors, allowing the building to be opened to the outside in good weather, for a more open-air feel.  And in colder months, air curtains at the side entrances (the front entrance has a energy- and heat-saving vestibule), keep the heat in and the cold out through many thousands of door openings.  At night, the front marquee LED sign lights up, and is remote controlled for changing colors and patterns!

 B Shed AIA

 OpeningDay7-15-17 (6)

New Food Stands

The famous and favorite permanent 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. 

   New A-D BefAft t

Frequently Asked Questions

Did the Market close during the construction period? No way! While there were some sights and sounds of construction and some necessary detours and relocations, the Market was open all 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).  We even temporarily enclosed the new outdoor "D" Shed to house the indoor shed vendors while the indoor "B" Shed was replaced.

 What were the phases of the project?

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

Did these changes compromise the character of the Market that we know and love? We heard this concern expressed by many a shopper and vendor and took it to heart.  The City and design team knew that we have something very special at the Market: the architecture, the atmosphere, history, variety, diversity, affordability...right on down to the old bricks. The paramount goal of this project was to make the much-needed improvements and additions while 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 largely of concrete in 1977.

Was more parking added with this project? There weren't any 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 circulating trolley service to the City-owned and Freddie Thomas School parking lots from April through October. Remember, carpooling and walking/cycling/using the bus are great ways to get to and from the Market!

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

What were the funding sources for the project? Of the approximately $8.5 million for the project, $2 million came 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 was provided by City of Rochester capital dollars and bonds.   

Did rents increase for Market vendors and prices go up for customers because of this project? Vendor rental fees for covered outdoor spaces--in existing sheds and the new covered outdoor shed--did 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? 

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