I am greatly looking forward to this outdoor seating! There haven’t been many but these “parking-to-people” conversions, hopefully, are resonating with landlords to get them thinking about how better to utilize these spaces.
Market Hall is the dead void that is killing the City Market. Imagine the center of a place of entertainment that is dead 80% of the time discouraging people from exploring the area since it looks abandoned. Boom, that’s the City Market Market Hall. A black hole that occasionally holds a wedding but otherwise keeps the City Market mood dead–encouraging tenants to vacate for more lively areas.
Don’t even get me started on City Market Produce–they’re number one seller is dust and cobweb and overripe fruit on the limited time it’s open but adds to the overall abandon-looking-ness of City Market–besides all the vacated storefronts.
I feel bad every time a new company moves into Blake Street since I know they won’t get the foot traffic they deserve.
I’m new to the community, but have frequently lurked dtraleigh.com for years. Glad to finally have a message board area!
Anyways, the point about Market Hall is interesting and spot on. It’s absolutely a “dead void” in the middle on the City Market district, whereas it should be an actively used space, especially with Moore Square expected to become the destination that the City wants it to be after the remodel is complete. A thought I had while reading the thread is that Market Hall would make a fantastic open air market for local artisans or farmers to bring their product to “market.” I visited Charleston last year and was very impressed with their City Market. Raleigh would greatly benefit from such a market, as tourist could mill about and office workers could patron local artisans on their lunch breaks.
Roanoke turned their City Market building into a food hall before food halls were cool. Each vendor has a storefront facing the sidewalk and outdoor seating plus counter type service facing the center of the building. There was a food court type seating area for all vendors in the interior of the building. I was there several years ago, and the area around the market building was quite lively.
Ironically there used to be a brewery there before I moved to Raleigh, but it had a fire and never reopened. If a good brewery like Raleigh Brewing or Trophy moved in there now, the whole area would be hopping.
It so would and for that reason it won’t happen. It makes too much sense. Someone would have to fight the living daylights out of the leadership of City Market before they do something positive like that. City Market is prime downtown retail–yet I can count five empty store fronts. You can only blame City Market leadership for this. MOFU Shoppe might be a godsend to the City Market. A fresh vision.
In the 1990s, Joe Hakan and his son Michael, purchased and upgraded the downtown collection of shops and restaurants. They illuminated the market’s rooflines and under their direction City Market flourished again.
I’d say “flourished” is a bit of an exaggeration…Their directory page seems purposely disorganized (and not updated) so you don’t realize how many spaces are actually vacant.
So City Produce space is City of Raleigh owned? What happens when the old man retires? City Produce can still be City Produce but a bit more modernize to fit the needs and wants of the locals. Focus on local heirloom crops with a tidy selection of cheap non-organic produce for those that want that.
Instead of tossing away the ripe vegetables that remain have a ‘sustainability’ juice bar that uses that produce.
A pick-n-toss salad station: pick the produce, have a worker cut it up in front of you. A yuppie like me would love that.
Refrigerated section that showcases NC-made cheeses and such with an option to order a cheese platter.
Use the parking lot on the side as a shaded/tabled section where people can side down to eat their salads and cheese platters.
Redevelopment in City Market is going to have to wait for Moore Square and the Bus station to be refurbished. It’s the “bad” side of downtown and everyone knows it, despite how well Bida Manda is doing.
The area also needs major work on drainage. The crown of the road floods in even a moderate rain.
The two new food halls coming to Raleigh are fulfilling what City Market could have been. The lack of vision by its leadership has left one of Raleigh’s jewels to have its true potential languish unfulfilled for decades.