Mayor Scott to provide $4.9 Million in ARPA Funds to Support Lexington Market’s Merchants

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Monica Lewis
(410) 387-8378

monica.lewis@baltimorecity.gov

Money to Support New and Legacy Tenants, Increasing Black Ownership by 45%

BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, March 16, 2022) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott and the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation announced the allocation of $4.9 million of Baltimore City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to complete the redevelopment of Lexington Market for the 45+ diverse merchants who will call the new market home. The market’s redevelopment got underway in early 2020, and construction of its new 60,000-square-foot market building and adjoining Lexington Street Plaza marks a new era for the nearly 240-year-old institution. 

The project and its vendors have faced COVID-related construction and labor price increases but are on track to open in fall 2022. Construction was put on hold early in the pandemic, and cost increases have complicated reopening plans. These ARPA dollars are designed to address these issues and maintain minority vendor participation in the new market.

In line with the Mayor’s priority pillar for Equitable Neighborhood Development, the new merchant mix increases Black ownership from the current 5% to nearly 50% in the new Market and increases female ownership to 50%.

The COVID-19 public health emergency and the related economic fallout have disproportionately harmed small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses. 

“We want to redevelop and modernize Baltimore’s iconic Lexington Market without leaving behind the minority businesses that made the old Lexington Market truly special,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “These funds are going directly to vendors to help us reach the finish line for opening this uniquely Baltimore destination this summer while ensuring that minority businesses are put at the center of our work to grow the downtown economy.”

“The redevelopment of Lexington Market is critical to the long-term health of the community," said Paul Ruppert, Baltimore Public Markets Corporation President & CEO. "We have a diverse selection of new and existing vendors ready to move into the new building.” 

"We couldn't be prouder to be adding our second location at historic Lexington Market in 2022," said Ashley Wylie, co-owner of Fleurs d'Ave, which will also keep their location at 1200 North Ave. in Baltimore. "We're a Black-owned business with deep roots in Baltimore, and we know our fresh flowers and exemplary customer service will be a part of the Lexington Market legacy for years to come." At their Lexington Market stall, Fleurs d'Ave will carry grab-and-go bouquets for celebrations and everyday occasions and also work with customers on custom arrangements.

This allocation will also enable Faidley’s Seafood, a Baltimore institution, to remain in Lexington Market – a huge win for Baltimore City. 

"We're extremely excited to be a part of this next chapter for Lexington Market - the place that our family's business has called home for five generations," said Nancy Faidley-Devine, co-owner of Faidley's Seafood. "We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Mayor's Office, Baltimore Public Markets, and Seawall for bringing this project to life and protecting the legacy of this historic public market."

In addition to the funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, Transform Lexington Market is funded by a $2 million contribution from Lexington Market, Inc., $7.3 million in grant funds from the City of Baltimore, $9.4 million in capital grants from the State of Maryland, $9.5 million in New Market Tax Credit investment, and an $11.3 million loan financed by Fulton Bank.

Residents can find more information about the Transform Lexington Market project at www.transformlexington.com. The Market’s new building is currently under construction, while its East Market building remains open Monday-Saturday with 40+ vendors. 

About Transform Lexington Market

Transform Lexington Market is the movement to renew and improve Baltimore’s iconic Lexington Market which, for over 200 years, has been a staple of Baltimore life and is the longest continuously operating public market in the country. The city-owned Market sits in the heart of Baltimore City and is one of six public markets managed by the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation. The transformation project is a community process, stewarded by Baltimore community developer Seawall, and it is the right and responsibility of every Baltimorean to participate and form a vision for the future of Lexington Market.

About Baltimore Public Markets

Unique among American cities, Baltimore’s communities have successfully sustained a network of six public markets that all serve their surrounding neighborhoods. Lexington Market, the city’s largest market, and the longest continuously operating public market in the country, is the anchor of these institutions, and is joined by five other smaller neighborhood markets. Although each market has its own unique character befitting the neighborhood around it, all of Baltimore’s public markets have a role in supplying fresh foods to the communities they serve. Additionally, these Markets are being revived, while many other indoor community gathering spaces become less available in cities. Planned market improvements will continue the public market tradition of cultivating local small businesses, providing employment and nutrition education, while still maintaining affordable food access. Learn more at www.baltimoremarkets.org

About the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $641 million to the City of Baltimore in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. Mayor Brandon M. Scott has established the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs to transparently and effectively administer this funding on behalf of the City. 

For the most up to date information regarding proposals, funded projects, and project progress visit our ARPA Reporting center at arp.baltimorecity.gov/dashboard.

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