Dallas Farmers Market's $64 Million Overhaul Will Begin in February

Shed1Rendering.jpg
Pecan Lodge's recent defection for Deep Ellum seemed to bode ill for the planned renaissance of the Dallas Farmer's Market. Despite that, developer Brian Bergersen says things are actually looking up for the $64 million-plus redo.

Bergesen, who purchased the long-struggling market from the city six months back, told the Dallas City Council that Shed 2, the enclosed pavilion that Pecan Lodge will soon depart, is almost fully leased. Same with Shed 1, the part with the actual farmers.

Some of the farmers are new, recruited by a full-time farm coordinator hired by Bergerson's group. Some are returning after moving to the smaller markets now thriving in Coppell, at White Rock, and elsewhere.

"Since it became private, we've had a lot of interest from farmers who have left the market to come back," Bergersen said. "And we're opening our arms to all those people."

The work of overhauling the market is scheduled to begin in February with a 11-month redo of the streetscape and parking surrounding the market. A $1.2 million gutting of Shed 1, which will double stall space and eliminate cars, begins in August, followed by Shed 2 in October.

Sheds 3 and 4, the mostly vacant home of produce dealers, will be razed at the end of the year and replaced with a mixed use development with about 240 apartments and ground-level retail space.

FarmersMarketMixedUSe.jpg

Also to be demolished are three warehouse buildings on Taylor Street, which will be replaced by another mixed-use development starting in March 2015, this one with 60 residences and 25,000 square feet of retail.

TaylorStrreetRedo.jpg

Last up is the community garden and futsal fields, which also start going in in March 2015.

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Bergerson and his backers will wind up covering about three-fourths of the total costs. The City Council's Economic Development Committee this morning preliminarily approved his request for $15 million in TIF reimbursement, a number that will likely increase once designs for the street and parking improvements are finalized this month.

Councilman Jerry Allen, reminiscing about a recent visit to the farmer's market in Portland, Oregon, worried that too much focus was being put on the buildings and not enough on the market.

Bergerson worked to convince him otherwise.

"The most important thing for us is making sure we have fresh produce, making sure we have it year round," he said.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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19 comments
FEDUP
FEDUP

WHAT AGAIN HOW MANY TIMES ARE THEY GOING TO PUT LIPSTICK ON THIS GD PIG?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

It is right next to The Bridge mega homeless shelter.

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

R.I.P, Adios amigo, to Dallas Farmers Market.  It's a produce market.  If you want a mixed use festival market place check out the West End.  You will lose shoppers if parking is not convenient.and in shed parking is very cool and convenient, except maybe at peak times.  

I love driving right up to Betty's or Lemley's stand and getting my tomatoes.  Sometime I have time to browse the entire market and even have breakfast tacos. Other times maybe just of enough time to go a few stalls down and get some free range eggs.  But the parking is key as is the atmosphere of a produce market.  I have never had a bad experience with bait and switch items and generally enjoy the banter with the vendors.  Some things are a bargain other things are more costly than you can get elsewhere but it's convenient, and a good experience.

All of these "improvements" will just add costs for the vendors and the customers.  The apartments nearby will encroach on the parking and eventually bring complaints about noise, rodents, traffic, poor people, etc.

I believe there is room for improvement and hope these people will improve it but keep it a market and not try gentrify it up with schlocky crap at the expense of farmers and produce dealers.


holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

For $64 million, you could build two 20-story office towers.

That is a staggering figure.  

Must be government-assisted.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Don't think Bergerson or his group of investors were disappointed by Pecan Lodge moving. the use long term would bring more problems to the owners than benefits.

imho this is a apartment development deal, all the talk about the farmer's market is smoke. wilonsky's article has this remark by council member Jerry Allen, who wanted to make sure the new ownership group wasn’t just building a “an apartment development around an entertainment thing called a farmers market.”

you got it Jerry, but you let them talk their way around it. and you gave them the green light to take $15 Million in TIF money (about 25% of the cost to build the apts) to help the project get built.

those soccer fields? a temporary use. they can't go and build all the planned apartments at once, in a  couple of years the first apartment buildings will be leased and they can build the next set, and say goodbye to the fields.

engmofo
engmofo

Killer ,3 more Soccer field's!

Just what we need  ,seeing as the nearest free skatepark is about 20+ miles away

John1073
John1073

Maybe they could try having actual farmers instead of wholesalers. I can buy produce from outside of the area just as easily at a grocery store.

Yobagoya
Yobagoya

Three futsal fields means that everyone in the city of Dallas that cares about futsal will get their own personal field, with two left over to spare. Excellent land usage there.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I hope that the new owner will run off the scam artist vendors who take the produce on display which you select, duck behind the display and fill your sack with the overripe, half rotted half spoiled produce.


I got tired of playing that game to the point where I would pick out what I wanted and demanded that they hand me the sack.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

As long as I can still get the free samples of fresh tomatoes covered in salt and pepper it works for me. That is a favorite Saturday activity of mine.

marmy
marmy

@holmantx Or a fantasy play land where nothing works like at the Arboretum!!

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog 

Camden at Farmers Market was phased in . . .

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Greg820  

I guess that we need this in order to be "world class" ... I guess basket ball courts or tennis courts would have been too mundane and used even less ...

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 

That and the "false bottom" containers. You think you've just picked a quart of berries or some such only to discover that if you watch closely, 1/2 to 2/3 of the volume of the container is filled with packing material of some sort as they transfer your purchase to a sack for carrying.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@P1Gunter Do you get your tomatoes fr  om Lemley's stall?  They are the best at the Market.  The mushroom guy across the way pointed me to him.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I honestly have no idea what stall I get them from. It may make me a shitty person, but when the weather is nice I like to ride my bicycle down there from East Dallas with friends and we just sample every sample possible and then I just grab a bucket of whatever the last stand is and throw them in my backpack.

kayo
kayo

@P1Gunter @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Sounds like a wonderful Saturday afternoon to me.  And I've known the Lemleys for years, and yeah, the tomatoes are the bomb.

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