The Farmers Market building at River Landing is set to reopen.
Members of the Board’s Development Committee unanimously approved a lease offer from Ideas. Inc Monday.
The once-bustling building on the corner of Avenue A and 19th Street will see new life next spring if council approves the lease at its full meeting later this month.
“It’s something Saskatoon is missing and will be welcomed by customers,” Tanner Michalenko, community manager at Ideas Inc. told CTV News.
Ideas Inc. will meet the requirements of the soon-to-be-renovated space based on city stipulations.
“We’re going to be operating six days a week at this location here and as part of that we’ll have two dedicated farmer’s market days in season,” Michalenko said.
Called Gather Local Market, the set of 16 partitioned stalls will be made available to local vendors in the center of the building. Eight local restaurants and six artisan brewers and distillers will also be part of the new building. Local groceries and artisans selling their wares are also part of the plan.
This is a positive step forward, according to the executive director of the Riversdale Business Improvement District.
“It’s been a long time coming and the proven success has been demonstrated by the investment in Riversdale and 20th Street (and) The Banks across the street here,” Randy Pshebylo told CTV News.
The Banks subdivision was built in 2014 and the selling feature according to Pshebylo was the farmers’ market across the street, but vacancy rates plummeted when the market closed in 2020 after the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative Ltd and the town’s relationship deteriorated. when the cooperative could not undertake to animate the district six days a week.
The city issued a request for proposals in 2018 to find a permanent tenant, then cited much-needed repairs to the old roof of the aging electrical garage as the reason for withdrawing the request for proposals.
Repairs were expected to begin in January 2020 and last at least three months. After COVID-19 uncertainty stalled any progress, demolition and construction work began in June 2020.
The hope is that vacancy rate issues will no longer be an issue with Ideas’ engagement.
“No one is an island here, including this farmers market, and we all need each other,” Pshebylo said.
About 10 vendors have approached Ideas Inc. so far to join the project.
“I just think it’s so unique and so different from what we’ve seen before and something we’ve never been involved in before and we’re looking forward to this opportunity,” Liam McKercher told CTV News. , CEO of Crossmount Cider Company. .
Crossmount is one of these companies which will be added to the thirty or so suppliers who will take up residence in this building.
“It’s something that we really care about and it’s something that we think will be a really good aspect to add to our city,” he said.
The Farmer’s Market component will primarily operate outdoors in the Market Square twice a week between May and October, and a night market is also part of the plan.
Ideas would pay $10 per year for five years and cover utilities, cleaning, snow removal and other costs, under the proposed lease.
The city could lose just over $50,000 in potential revenue over the five-year lease.
The administration is also recommending that the city contribute $150,000 to purchase furniture for common areas, 50% from the capital reserve budget and 50% from Ideas Inc.
Gather is expected to open in May 2023.