Farmers Market RelocationUniversity District - Seattle
Rated as one of the nation’s top-ten farmers markets, the University District Farmers Market was nonetheless being displaced from its long-standing (and year-round) Seattle location. Historically situated on a parking lot in a rapidly redeveloping urban neighborhood, the market needed to vacate so work could begin on a new city park. In truth, more than a popular community destination for thousands of weekly visitors was at stake. The potential loss of the popular market stood to put almost 10,000 acres of locally-productive farmland and local farmers at great economic risk.
As a first step, Stephen Antupit worked as a consultant to tap his on-the-ground knowledge of the market (i.e., vendor needs + customer experience), neighborhood real estate conditions, and expertise related to traffic and transit operations. Using data and story, Stephen was able to develop a series of short, mid, and long-term relocation options. He evaluated specific site alternatives based on intimate knowledge of under-utilized parcels and shared-parking opportunities. Stephen compiled regulatory precedents, obstacles, and potential impacts of multiple agencies’ reviews. Sensitive to neighborhood and stakeholder issues and concerns, Stephen navigated and completed the technical analyses during delicate property management changes and (re)leasing negotiations.
Strategically guaranteeing it survival, the market team implemented a plan (after securing approvals from three public agencies) that allow for the every-Saturday closure of what is typically a busy neighborhood street. Even better, the new in-street location is adjacent to the park just built on the former market site!