Farmers Market looking for new home

  • Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2012 11:23 p.m.

SALISBURY — The popular Salisbury-Rowan Farmers Market could have a new home near the Salisbury Station in the city’s growing arts district.

City Council has agreed to apply for a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Grant that would pay to identify a new location and design a new facility for the Farmers Market. The grant does not fund construction, only planning.

The entire planning project would cost $50,000, with half coming from the federal grant, $17,000 from Salisbury Tourism and $8,000 from the Farmers Market organization.

Rowan Tourism, Salisbury Tourism, the Rowan Arts Council, Downtown Salisbury Inc. and Lee Street Theater asked City Council to apply.

The new market would include public art and restrooms and serve as a community gathering and outdoor performance space, said Joe Morris, the city’s director of Community Planning Services.

Organizers are considering the city’s parking lot across from Salisbury Station as a possible new location for the Farmers Market. The market’s current location in the 300 block of South Main Street is slated to become parking for Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ new central office.

The city would have to relocate the Depot Street parking lot if the Farmers Market moves in. It’s where police and guests at Salisbury Station events often park.

The new Lee Street Theater should open this fall at the corner of Lee and Kerr streets in a renovated warehouse, across from the existing Looking Glass Artist Collective and Black Box Theater. Additional studios and galleries are located in the area.

Organizers working on a new Farmers Market recently traveled to Greensboro, Asheboro and Morgan Ridge to view open-air structures that could serve the Salisbury-Rowan market.

A new location would include space to accommodate overflow vendors who have been turned away from the existing market due to space constraints, Morris said.

“There is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in our local market around this idea, and they are certainly willing to participate,” he said.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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