PLATTSBURGH — The city has its eye on a Green Street MLD building for the Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market relocation.
Operator of RaknSak Photography Sue Carusone said market leadership has collected vendor feedback on the possible spot.
"We did a field trip over there last Saturday for them to look at it," Carusone told The Press-Republican. "We had to fill out a survey."
As for herself, Carusone said, she wasn't too picky.
"I'd rather have a place than not have a place," the market vendor said. "I would like to have a Farmers Market next year.
"If that's our choice in buildings, then, I'm OK with that."
Earlier this year, the City of Plattsburgh announced its plan to relocate the seasonal market out from the Durkee Street parking lot and down to its Harborside.
Included, city officials had said, would be construction of a new, multi-purpose building funded via either grant money or re-allocated Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds.
In a recent city statement, however, that vision had undergone some alterations.
"The city has asked the Farmer's Market for its assistance in the redesign of an existing city building that has ample parking and is ideally located to be within the shortest walking distance of the downtown core, via Bridge Street or the Commemoration Bridge, and surrounded by abundant parking and green space," the statement says.
"The City of Plattsburgh remains committed to the continued success of the Farmers Market, and believes the market will be an anchor in the continued development in the Harborside area."
That existing building was one at 26 Green St.
A collection of buildings there have long housed the city's Municipal Lighting Department and, pending that department's relocation to Sharon Avenue, a $1 million Restore NY Grant was to fund their demolitions.
The city's $1.8 million purchase of the Sharon Avenue property was expected to close in coming weeks, Mayor Colin Read said Thursday.
And, MLD Manager Bill Treacy added, when moving the department, priority would be given to the building slated for the market.
"We'd get out of the future home of the Farmers Market first," Treacy said. "Probably within several weeks we'd be out of the rest."
A pre-demolition asbestos survey was performed at the Green Street site earlier this year by environmental science and engineering contractor KAS Inc.
It was later announced that asbestos had been found there.
"During demolition or any other potential activities that may disturb the asbestos containing materials, there are certain appropriate rules and procedures that need to be followed," the city's Community Development Office said.
"However, any asbestos abatement or demolition work that will be required for the MLD complex is being funded through the Restore NY Grant."
Market vendor Rita Santamore was pleased to hear the city may construct an access road to the potential market location.
"They showed me where they're going to do it— it's a great spot,” she said. “There will be more parking over there, too.”
The survey circulating the Farmers Market asks vendors if, after seeing the proposed location and concept pictures, they would be OK with the move.
It then asks what top three improvements they'd like to see there, adding that "a pavilion and new windows and having it cosmetically cleaned up are givens."
Santamore heard the city allocated somewhere around $200,000 to fund building upgrades.
"At $100 per square foot doing repairs — that would not go very far," the Rita's Relics owner thought. "Other than that concern, I'm fine with whatever is going to be done to it."
THEY'LL FIND US
Some have said a move towards the City of Plattsburgh Marina would make the Farmers Market less accessible.
Santamore didn't agree with those claims.
"People seem to find their way down to the Naked Turtle, to the boat basin, to the lake — if they can find all that, they'll find us," she said. "It's like the old saying, 'If you build it, they will come.'
"I really believe that's true. I think we're going to be just fine."
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