Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Lexington Market Corp. Release Master Plan for Lexington Market

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Brandon M. Scott
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Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Lexington Market Corp. Release Master Plan for Lexington Market

Plan assesses market conditions, recommends ways to improve facility and operations

Baltimore, MD (January 29, 2015)—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Lexington Market Corporation today released an extensive master plan that will guide improvements to Baltimore’s oldest and largest public market.

Conducted by Market Ventures, a national consultancy with experience in managing public and farmers markets, the report includes a detailed look at current market facilities and operating conditions, national best practices, and public and vendor feedback. The report recommends a variety of capital and operating improvements; it also includes an economic impact analysis and identifies possible sources of funding.

“Lexington Market is more than an important part of Baltimore’s history, it’s a transit-connected asset that could better benefit the entire city,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “This report is a roadmap that will guide the way forward. My vision is of a market that provides more than healthy food choices. I want to see Lexington Market regain its status as a destination where residents from across the city come together.”

The report notes that it is critical to maintain the authentic, core elements that have made Lexington Market a beloved Baltimore institution for more than two centuries, while addressing the Market’s deficiencies in a strategic and cost effective manner.

 “Anyone who has been to the market over the past decade has probably made a mental list of improvements we could make,” said Robert Thomas, newly-appointed executive director of Lexington Market. “Through exhaustive research, this report quantifies and prioritizes all those ideas and more. Most importantly, it has scalable recommendations about how and where we could begin to make meaningful changes.”

“Mayor Rawlings-Blake has been committed to improving Lexington Market since she took office,” added Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Chair of the Lexington Market Board of Directors. “This report is the most meaningful step that has been taken since the market was last renovated decades ago.”

Given its size, history, and prime location, the report finds that Lexington Market has the potential to be transformed into one of the finest public markets in the country, recapturing its former standing as a key economic and cultural institution in Baltimore.

This master plan provides a path forward to realize this vision, based on several guiding principles, including the need to:

  • Create modern, code compliant, energy efficient public market facilities that meet the needs of market vendors and customers, while maintaining the Market’s historical character.
  • Create a place that welcomes the whole community by offering a diverse range of quality products at affordable prices—particularly, local, authentic, and unique fresh and prepared foods.
  • Develop the market in a financially prudent manner, so that income exceeds operating expenses, in part by designing the facilities to lower the effective costs of operations.

The report is now in the hands of the Lexington Market Board of Directors’ steering committee for further review and an analysis of next steps.

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