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Friday, March 23, 2012

Where Will the H Street FreshFarm Market Go?

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A few of you have written in asking what will happen to the H Street Farmers Market now that they can no longer (due to construction plans) use the site that they have been using for the past several years. Here are portions of an email that I received from a market organizer:

"The H Street NE FRESHFARM Market has been frantically looking for a new home for the market! The buildings that flank the old site are being demolished and the lot is no longer available for our use, this season or ever again."

"Stay tuned! But more importantly, we need market supporters to attend a neighborhood meeting April 4th at 7:30 at the NE library. Can you help us spread the word? FFM promises to continue to be good neighbors, Bringing fresh foods weekly, cleaning up after ourselves, no amplified music, and offering shoppers our Matching Dollars program to low income shoppers. We really want to keep the market in the neighborhood!"

The organizers were looking at leasing the Ludlow-Taylor parking lot, but have learned that it will not be available. They are being urged to consider the former R. L. Christian Library site (13th and H).

56 comments:

Waaahmbulance said...

Maybe the Westmill Capital guys will let us vote on the use of the Autozone parking lot on Saturday mornings.
While it wouldn't be the best from a "H St" farmer's market location perspective, i'd be fine with the Sherwood Rec Center parking lot.

I've Got an Idea said...

Perhaps the NE corner of 14th and Maryland (across from Checkers)? You'd have a few vagrants to fight over the space, but it's unoccupied and certainly large enough.

g said...

Either site woul would be great. Near autozone would have to stop parking, at 14th & Maryland ave you would have stop the camping out street people.

JJ said...

The Sherwood Rec would be a lot more pedestrian friendly (not to mention nicer) I think than the Autozone or 14 & Maryland.

kfed said...

Uline arena would be great if they fixed it up and got rid of the parking, but I'm sure they make too much money on parking and letting it rot to do that.

Anonymous said...

Would the parking lot of JO Wilson Elementary School (7 and K NE) be available and desirable? It's unlocked and unused on the weekends...

npm said...

A really minor correction: Ludlow-Taylor does not have a parking lot, just a small service road next to the playground. And I don't think Sherwood has a parking lot either; I believe the adjacent parking lot belongs to the Prospect Learning Center.

Anonymous said...

The old library at 13th and H is being auctioned off by the DC Gov for developers...they need a more permanent home. If Fenty was in the house, this would not be an issue...

inked said...

I was thinking that J.O. Wilson seemed like a good option.

Anonymous said...

What about the Wylie Street Garden?

Anonymous said...

I think Sherwood rec. center is the best option. Hopefully they will be able to find a location soon.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the schools were asking something like $13,000 for a 1/2 day use on Saturdays for the growing season. Not a reasonable sum for a market.

Anonymous said...

just another victim of gentrification

Anonymous said...

In addition to JO wilson, another option might be the new Office of the Aging building at 5th and K NW. There is a parking lot and small playground for little kids. Though both of those are good locations, I can understand why the organizers would likely prefer the visibility of H ST and it might be faster and easier to work out an arrangement with a private owner than the city.

inked said...

I thought about the Office of Aging (5th & K NE) too, but I wondered if it might actually be open on Sundays. That wouldn't be an issue for a school.

Campy said...

I would prefer to keep it on H Street and centrally located. What about closing down one of the lightly used side streets such as the block north of 7th and H? Saturday morning traffic is light so I can't see that as being too big of an issue.

Anonymous said...

What about the parking lot beside the Catholic church at 11th & K? It's not H St., but two blocks off. Build it and they (we) will come.

wigshop said...

Why not pair up with the nascent flea market at Minor School?

Derek said...

I like the idea of one side of a block section of H Street. The vendors trucks could use the metered parking spaces and the stands would be either on the side walk or between trucks and everyone could walk up and down the sidewalk shopping.
It would give more notice and attention than being off in a side street somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a large stage area just built over at the Starburst intersection that's supposed to be used for events? Or is that too small?

Kenny G said...

As long as we're throwing out blue sky ideas...

How about fixing up Linden Court (alley system behind the Atlas) and blocking it off on Saturday mornings for the farm market?

Dave B said...

So they are going to start demolishing those buildings soon, huh? Or at least that seems to be the plan. What are they, 15-20 years old? So disposable...

Anonymous said...

The park at the Starburst intersection is huge and would be a great spot for this.

Anonymous said...

@Dave B

They're just knocking down the 1-story section. The new apartment building will be in that space + the parking lot.

The office buildings will stay (although they'll be renovated).

Anonymous said...

I second both the suggestion to combine with the flea market at Miner OR to use the park at the starburst intersection.

KS said...

It stinks that Ludlow Taylor's parking lot will not be available. Even though it's not directly on H, I think that would be a good location. (npm, maybe you're thinking of a different school, but Ludlow Taylor definitely has a parking lot; it's across the street from the school.) I agree that Sherwood rec would be a good option.

Anonymous said...

I second (third? fourth?) the idea of keeping the market on H Street itself and I think closing down a block would be a fantastic idea. If not 7th street, how about shutting down 9th Street between H and I. It already dead-ends at H St, so I can't see it disrupting traffic too much. . .

And piggy-backing on the blue-sky thinking, to reinforce the use of this block as a period market/festival/gathering spot, maybe in the future DDOT could repave this block with brick pavers in the same manner as 7th Street next to Eastern Market?

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant "periodic", not period. . . though I guess either word could work.

inked said...

Shutting down a street is a pretty big deal. Getting the signatures for a block party is a hassle in itself. I doubt you'd get residents to agree to agree to a weekly shutdown. Even if you theoretically could do it, someone would have to get the signatures each week, which would not exactly be stable.

Anonymous said...

Closing down a block that is 100% commercial like in front of Eastern Market, or the Dupont Farmer's Market is doable if the merchants come together to see value in it; closing off a block of residential homes where people need to park and get in and out of their homes is a bit more of a problem. If you're thinking along the lines of Eastern Market, you'd be better off looking at the block adjacent to Uline Arena - plenty of other options to get around the block, close to metro, no active residences or businesses to get in the way.

Other suggestions:

1) Under the H Street Bridge at 2nd street NE - lots of available sidewalk space that not used on the weekends
2) Stuart-Hobson School at 5th & F NE - has a large parking area that's not used on most weekends, + a fenced-in area adjacent to the parking lot
3) The parking lot across from Kaiser Permanente at 2nd & H (below H Street street level)...might not be a long-term solution but it's not apparently used on weekends, is huge, easy metro access, and close to all the new high rise, high-volume apartments & condos. There's even room for parking there for those who drive in from further east.
4) At the risk of trampling grass, Stanton Park is a VERY unused park...probably too close to Eastern Market to be a competitor however, but there's hardly anyone in the park usually other than the families using the playground at one end.
5) As others have said, the Starburst intersection is MADE for this kind of use - huge plaza, Bikeshare on premises, and maybe more activity might discourage homeless activity. It's a bit far from most of the high-capacity residential development, though Atlas Flats may be changing that a bit...

Anonymous said...

Starburst Intersection makes a lot of sense - very visible, at transit hub (of sorts, with multiple bus routes and bike share), and a great use of the park. Please move there! :)

Anonymous said...

eh. i dont think the starburst intersection is smart. it would be like Frogger to have people trying to cross the road to get to the market. same with that little "park" or triangle of grass at Florida, West VA and 9th (?)

Joe Cole maybe?

Anonymous said...

I think Starburst is a great idea, especially since there is parking right next door at a huge parking lot, and people don't have to cruise the neighborhood looking for spaces...and possibly not stopping if they can't find them. Personally I'm a lot more likely to go if it's at the Starburst than at 13th just because of the parking situation. Sorry to offend all those who think I should walk and bike everywhere I go.

H Street Great Street said...

Sherwood or Stuart Hobson make the best sense. Unfortunately, DC is insitisting on outrageous pricing to use a public parking lot on a Satrurday morning. I encourage folks to reach out to DC DGS and to attend the meeting if they want the city to allow the market to continue to operate in our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

If a parking lot isn't required--what about the area just west of the Loree Grand at 2nd and K where they do the screen on the green?...

Anonymous said...

I think the Starburst area is the perfect spot.

Anonymous said...

I live on the other side of Hech Mall and frequently pass that cement park. Of note - it's not particularly flat and it is covered in trash and cigarette butts. You'd definitely need to police the area before using. Also - just a few blocks east is the big farmers market in the RFK lot. So keeping the H St market on the western end makes more sense. SB

Needs a 6th St. Farmer's Market I'm front of Derek's house said...

I'm cool with anywhere, just keep it alive.

Derek said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

How about the credit union lot at 9th and D?

Anonymous said...

how about the Logan Montessori lot at 3rd and G?

Anonymous said...

Keep it on H Street if possible, but the Starburst is too far. You'll lose a lot of patrons from the area between Stanton Park and H. If not H, Sherwood may be next best option.

Hillman said...

Stanton Park is owned by National Park Service.

Absolutely no way they will allow a market.

They are extremely unfriendly toward any use of the parks on Cap Hill, regardless of what neighbors would like

They won't even allow a vendor like a hot dog vendor.

JoshNE said...

I saw on Craigslist yesterday that The Hunted House from 14th St. is going to move to H St. Anyone else heard anything about this?

Anonymous said...

via twitter:

HUNTED HOUSE ‏ @Hunted_House


Hit "H" for Hunted House! We're moving to H Street, NE in May. Just TWO more weeks on 14th Street. Get ready for a brand new Hunted House!


Awesome

heyktb said...

The folks at the Catholic church on 11th and I are interested in talking to the market about using their parking lot. Do you know if the market would make a donation for the use of the space?

OG said...

The great part about the current location is that it's nearly equidistant from either end of H. Ludlow-Taylor and Sherwood are the closest options that would satisfy that important feature. But how the eff does a DCPS charge $13K for a half day's use of an empty parking lot? That should be a story.

Kiki said...

There is the parking lot right next to the bridge on the Southwest corner of 3rd & H. It sits empty on weekends.

Anonymous said...

It's privately owned but what about the lots adjacent to Hallery O/H? Across from Sova. The owners are huge supporters of H Street.

Rayful Edmond said...

FreshFarm is meeting with District gov-bots this week about using the space at RL Christian Library, 13th and H.

wylie coyote said...

whatever school parking lot that is next to sherwood looks ideal.

Rayful Edmond said...

To squash all rumors about ineligible locations, FreshFarm is going to relocate the market to RL Christian.

RL said...

That is a terrible location. It is too far east.

inked said...

They are looking at R.L. christian, but nothing is for sure. Even if it did happen, the R.L. Christian site would never be more than an interim site.

RL said...

JO Wilson seems perfect. It is 2 blocks north of where it was before, not to far east or west. Closer to Noma, closer to Trinidad as well.

Eastern Market is already there for the folks further south, and the folks further east have the market at RFK. R.L. Christian is way to far east, and there is no parking lot, only a small grassy field. If it rains then then who will walk across that muddy mess?

oboe said...

That is a terrible location. It is too far east.

No, no! It's too far *west*! My house is nearer the Starburst intersection!

:)