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Monday, February 15, 2016

Crescent City Farmers Market to relocate weekly Warehouse District market mid-2016

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 6:42 PM

click to enlarge Crescent City Farmers Market is looking for a new home for their weekly Saturday morning market, which has been held at 700 Magazine Street for the past 20 years. - COURTESY CRESCENT CITY FARMERS MARKET
  • COURTESY CRESCENT CITY FARMERS MARKET
  • Crescent City Farmers Market is looking for a new home for their weekly Saturday morning market, which has been held at 700 Magazine Street for the past 20 years.

Saturday mornings at the Crescent City Farmers Market will soon have to take place somewhere else after the owners of the property at 700 Magazine Street announced plans to redevelop the strip for commercial use.

Last month, the news blog Canal Street Beat reported that Reily Foods Company, along with developer Brian Gibbs, had proposed plans to develop the buildings at 700, 640 and 618 Magazine Street into a mixed use residential, retail and parking structure.


Kathryn Parker, the executive director of Market Umbrella, the parent company that oversees the farmers market, says they had been aware of the plans underway and were recently notified that the market vendors would be displaced in the near future. That leaves the longstanding Saturday farmers market, which has been operating rent-free for the past two decades, searching for a new home.

The market’s founders happened upon the location by chance twenty years ago while driving by the Magazine Street parking lot and taking notice of the sprawling Dafford Brothers mural painted on the side. After speaking with members of the Reily family, the owners allowed the market to take over the parking lot and adjacent warehouse space on Saturday mornings.  

“We’ve been super blessed,” Parker said. “We’ll be sad to go but we realize it’s an opportunity to broaden our reach and our customer base…and possibly our vendor footprint.” The market usually features anywhere from 25 to 30 vendors, she said. 

Parker says the market will remain open at the Magazine Street spot until spring or early summer. In the meantime, the organization has embarked on a crowd-sourcing mission to help find the market’s new location, which Parker says will hopefully be bigger, with adequate street visibility and public transportation access.

“I think it’s a great way for people to get involved,” Parker says. “It would be lovely if it would be free and we would like to stay downtown. I think that New Orleans needs a downtown flagship Farmers Market – it’s just a hub that everyone can get to.”

Have an idea for the new market space? Find the form to weigh in here.

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