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Boston Public Market Proposal

I am sure we are all rooting for this to happen.

http://www.mass.gov/agr/public-market...

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  1. WOW! This would be awesome, and certainly raise Boston's cache as a world-class food city!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Science Chick

      This would be really great. I like the location too re proximity to T and rail and walkable for me from work :). Haymarket being nearby is complementary and may help to keep prices reasonable and quality high.

    2. Pg 24. "Opening Day 3/27/14".
      Let's see how close they come.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChocolateMilkshake

        At least this is now a more realistic date for opening day. Last meeting we went to they said Sept of this year. I was thinking there is no way anyone can get a brand new public market open in less than a year.

      2. They've certainly put a lot of time/effort/expense into the proposal. Although I only skimmed it, I wonder what this would mean for Haymarket vendors.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blumie

          They answered that question on their website actually. Seems like they view both as a compliment to each other, not direct competition.

          http://www.bostonpublicmarket.org/faq...

        2. Main problem is going to be parking/traffic.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            If you are driving to this location as a tourist, resident or person who works downtown, you are doing it wrong.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Anyone who drives to this deserves what they get. It's steps from the green, orange and blue lines.

              Allstonian and I have been following the development of this proposal quite closely, and this is quite close to the initial discussions we saw at some of the public meetings: I'm very pleased to see the addition of temporary outside stalls during the growing season.

              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                Carrying bags of fresh veggies on the T is not the easiest thing in the world.
                And for this to really succeed, some participation from denizens of the suburbs will be necessary.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  There are plenty of taxis available for those who buy too much to carry on the T.

                  and my guess is that the proponents of the Public Market are not expecting more than a handful of customers from Greater Boston residents living in the suburbs driving in to buy items at the market. That's not what this is about. If you think this is designed for people from Natick to drive 30 min to park right in front and shop at the market before returning home via their car, I think you are missing the point of this.

                  1. re: Gordough

                    I'm guessing that the throngs at the Copley farmers market didn't come in their cars. Maybe some of them are office workers going home in their cars. It is hard to carry lots on the T... yes, but not that hard. I am under age 60 and I have one knee replacement, one hip replacement, and another hip replacement overdue...I don't drive and I can't afford taxis much, but I can afford a taxi home from my closest T station now and then (and that's sullivan). I can't wait for the Market. Even with my orthopedic issues, I can carry with shoulder bags and knowing I can get a cheapish cab at the other end if I conk out. I don't think the city market is going to need the suburbans much..if it's counting on that, won't work. Most people haul home their Haymarket stuff on the T.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      I have been known to fill substantial real estate up in the overheads on the commuter rail with stuff from Haymarket, including some pretty pungent cheese. The heavily-laden walk home from the station is some of the only exercise I get.

                    2. re: Gordough

                      Not thinking this is going to replace the suburban ubermarts at all -

                      I am thinking of other public markets around the country - Pike Place in Seattle, Lexington Market in Baltimore, etc. - usually, they are enough of a destination to draw in some number of customers from the burbs, tourists, etc. in addition to locals.

                      Obviously, the T is somewhat more convenient than the systems in those cities - and I am sure there are better examples.

                      Point being that for this place to truly succeed, it should be able to draw all sorts of customers, especially tourists.

                      Also including the folks who drive into the city for work and head home to the burbs - if there is convenient parking and good traffic flow, I would think you'll get a decent number of people stopping in after work before getting on the expressway.

                      At least, I would be volunteer to be one of those folks.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                        Hm, right in between Quincy Market and the North End...yeah, I'm pretty sure it's gonna have the tourist trade covered.

                        One of the things that kept getting stressed at the public meetings is that along with the groceries, there will be prepared food and places to sit and eat. Which again is in keeping with successful public markets (DC's Central Market, Toronto's St. Lawrence Market, etc.), all of which have a tourist trade along with the regulars.

                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          I've visited Pike Place Market by public transportation. And plenty of tourists already manage to visit Quincy Market and the North End, using public transportation and/or what parking is already available. I honestly don't see what the problem is.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            Look, I'm not just making this up - the proposal itself addresses the inherent parking problems in the area -

                            "The pre-opening phase will be an important period for the BMPA to work with all public, private and government entities to establish policies, procedures and relationships that will contribute to the success of the Market and related activities in the district. *Of particular importance* will be the establishment of a parking plan for the patrons and vendors."

                            And

                            X. PARKING
                            We anticipate a close collaboration with the Boston Transportation Department in order to address the parking and circulation challenges for the patrons and Vendors of the Market. We will hire a transportation consultant, as per the recommendation in the Implementation Plan. An in-depth study will be required to ascertain the actual space available in Parcel 7 (presumably subject to Parcel 7 office tenant conditions and existing allocations), the Government Center Garage and the street parking within a reasonable range – relative to the anticipated attendance. The study will need to incorporate the additional traffic related to the operations of the Haymarket Pushcart Association on Thursday afternoons (set-up), Fridays and Saturdays.

                            The BPMA‘s communication plans will also concentrate on encouraging other methods of access to the Market to help eliminate congestion in the area, i.e. public transport, pedestrian and bike options.

                            --------------

                            The traffic pattern in that area is not great and the parking is expensive. Some people will take the T to patronize the market, but many people will want to take their cars. If it's expensive or a PITA to go there by car, they are going to lose out on a large swath of potential patrons, imho.

                2. Originally the proposal included Vendors from the Entire Greater New England area, but in the new proposal (and I assume final) would be Massachusetts specific. I am not as knowledgeable about what is available in Mass as I should, would this be a good or bad thing? (focusing solely on Massachusetts)

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Matt H

                    When writing this type of proposal, it is always key to have everything very focused and feasible. Otherwise, it looks like you are trying to do too much and the powers that be may lose confidence in the your ability to project what can be reasonably accomplished in the given timeframe. My guess (from years of writing funding proposals) is that they are starting out as simply and straightforward as possible to optimize getting approval. Once they are up and running successfully, they could add vendors from around New England and modify the scope of the center.

                      1. re: Science Chick

                        "Once they are up and running successfully, they could add vendors from around New England"

                        Maybe, and I would certainly hope so. But the fact that it was originally part of the plan and they dropped it does not bode well for that. I don't think it shows any lack of focus and feasibility to include all or most of New England. Personally, I suspect political pressure from some local producers. And frankly, I think the decision sucks.

                        The selection at the Somerville Winter Market is great, for example, but that's because it includes not only produce from MA, but from the rest of New England too, and even some stuff from organic farms in Florida. Keeping it MA-only is just too limiting.

                        1. re: BobB

                          I believe it was dropped because the Haymarket vendors wanted Massachusetts only.

                          Penny
                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                          1. re: BobB

                            Again, part of putting together a plan that will gain approval is getting feedback, reshaping and resubmitting. At any rate, it's exciting to see such a strong effort to create this kind of center here in Boston, and I wholeheartedly support it. Let's hope it gets off the ground, and then use our consumer influence to help it grow/develop into what we want for our city.

                            1. re: Science Chick

                              I'm so in...I haven't read the whole thing, but if you don't mind giving some quick ways to support now, how can we do it?

                              1. re: Madrid

                                You could attend the Community Meeting for the Boston Public Market, March 13th.
                                http://www.mass.gov/agr/public-market...

                                There is also a Donate link on their website as well. Please note I am in no way encouraging donations, just a notice that they are accepting.

                                http://www.bostonpublicmarket.org/

                      2. This sounds amazing! Sort of like Reading Terminal Market, but with more of a focus on the fresh produce, rather than the restaurant type places. Can't wait!

                        1. Does anyone know that happened to public market in Portland, Maine? Only went once, when visiting Portland, thought is was great, and sad to see it gone on my next visit. Any lessons learned there? I had a blackberry scone I still weep to eat again.

                          The Boston Public Market will attract tourists with sit down eateries and great food to grab and go. Most hotels don't have refrigerators and toursits aren't looking to stock up for flights home. I think I remember reading a NYT article about a hotel with kitchens near the fantastic SF Ferry market, and as a former resident of the Bay Area, I loved the idea, but I want to cook for friends and family in my own kitchen. And I have a longstanding fantasy of suddenly having money to burn and renting lots of casitas in New Mexico during fall harvest there for groups of friends and family while I cook from the harvest and they all get their own private abode.

                          But beyond that, a city market is a city market. There's isn't space for parking and when are those from the burbs going to come in? On Saturday and Sunday?

                          Maybe better to maximize shuttle buses for burbs folks who work in the city, park at work or T in,.....

                          I live right at Sullivan with great T access...but we have an emotionally disabled adopted child who can't always handle the T and I have lots of physical disabilities...we've tried driving in to the aquarium, etc., and it's brutal. Price and availiability. Food trucks can't get space in Boston ...

                          So I guess I get what you are saying Bob D., but if the City Market can't make it without people driving in, it can't make it. Parking and driving in isn't a sustainable model for anything at this point, let alone a city market.

                          An aside: a great grandfather I never met designed the City Market in Raleigh, NC. It was an open air market that got preserved, like Quincy Market, into retail and restaurant space. A brewery, etc. Even there, where public transportation is barely understood, a city trollery operates.

                          1. One line in the prospectus jumped out at me: "All Vendors will be required to clearly mark the price and source of each product, use certified scales and [here's the kicker] be willing to sell in any units (small to large) requested by the customer."

                            That last phrase could make things interesting. Suppose I want to buy just a few fronds of an herb, for instance, instead of a whole bunch. According to this they'd be required to sell it that way if I ask for it. Or just two eggs if that's all I want.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: BobB

                              Actually, Sherman Market in Union Sq., Somerville, sells their herbs in sprigs so it's doable. Pretty neat.