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Rochester Public Market Gets Much-Needed Makeover

It may have taken a year or two, but frequenters of the beloved Rochester Public Market will likely agree that the $8 million renovation project was well worth the wait. The new 13,000-square-foot “B” shed is back open for business.

The former shed structure and nearby food stands were more than four decades old and in desperate need of attention. The new version has 35% more vendor space, giving consumers an even wider variety of vendors to visit. Extra bathrooms were added to the new space as well. And while even a minor kitchen remodel in a home has an average 82.7% return on investment, the market is hoping to see positive returns on the demonstration kitchen included in the remodel.

The indoor/outdoor structure allows for year-round shopping and vending, which is a must for a city like Rochester. Vendors have expressed that they’re excited the facility will be heated during those harsh, long winters.

James Farr, Public Market director, says aspects of the makeover were designed to mirror the historic aspects of the market, which has existed in the same location on Union Street since 1905. Best of all, Farr says, that even though the project was costly, those costs won’t pass on to vendors.

“The rent that the vendors are moving into are exactly the same as the rents were before,” Farr said to Channel 10 WHEC. “I’m not saying we will never raise the rent, but not due to the project.”

The new parts of the market officially opened on July 15. Mayor Lovely Warren and other public officials participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting on July 12.

The $8.3 million dollar renovation received grants from Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets amounting $2 million apiece, plus an additional $500,000 in state funding.

Lifelong customer Nadine Soubotin Kent told Channel 10 WHEC, “It’s a great community destination, not just to shop in grocery stores, but to come out and meet farmers and really build an energy around local.”

Now, with these improvements, even more farmers, vendors, and Rochesterians will be able to enjoy all the market has to offer.

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