A staple of Saturday mornings in the Collar City, Troy’s popular downtown farmers market will not be moving to its proposed new home on River Street after all.
The Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market said Wednesday it will not operate at its proposed new home at One Monument Square.
The development project, which will occupy a downtown location on the banks of Hudson River, was to provide a permanent home for the market that draws thousands. The building project will also include residential units and commercial space.
Seth Jacobs, Chair of the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market Board of Directors, said changes to the project’s design would not provide enough space for the weekly event that has been growing for 16 years.
“It takes a good size building to move an average of 6,000 people through in a day – a peak of 8,000 people in five hours – and the costs went up substantially. And so we didn’t feel it was a responsible move to commit to involving the market,” said Jacobs.
Phyllis Uderwood, of Shushan Valley Hydro Farm in Washington County, said she supports the board’s decision.
“We’ll just continue to pursue our future opportunities for the market. Outside has been working for us very well for the past 15 years, and we can continue until something else arises,” said Underwood.
The One Monument Square project was been faced with challenges with the property it would sit on.
Jeff Kane, with developer the Kirchoff Companies, said the One Monument Square design was changed in part to accommodate older surrounding structures.
“They’re much older structures, foundations right up against our property line, foundations may in fact be on our property. And we’ve been advised by our geo-technical/structural engineers that we need to have some distance away from those foundations to avoid damaging the adjacent structures.”
Kane said the project must also deal with a retaining wall along River Street, pushing the foundation of the building project back 10 feet. A water main and utility corner also complicate things. The site was the home of a former city hall.
The project continued its site plan review process this week and faces a vote Friday by the Troy Industrial Development Agency on an $11.7 million financing package.
Last year, the state awarded the developers of the project a $1.5 million grant. At the time, it was promoted as assisting relocating the market into a permanent home at One Monument Square.
Kane said the funding would not be affected.
“The grant is really about job creation in downtown Troy and we believe the ultimate tenant in the space will meet those grant requirements,” Kane.
The farmers market will go back to tents in the summer and will spend another winter inside the Troy Atrium. Kane said the plans for One Monument Square would include public space in front and behind the structure overlooking the river — an asset to the market in the warmer months.
“We would fully welcome and anticipate the farmers market and both vendors and attendees using that public space during farmers market events, and again, it will be an extension, we believe, of their presence downtown.”
Jacobs said the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market will keep moving forward, despite the change of plan.
“We’re patient and we’ll wait for the right thing,” said Jacobs.