GLENS FALLS — Mayor Dan Hall on Tuesday unveiled the conceptual design for the redevelopment of South Street, including The Market — a 10,000-square-foot, one-story glass-and-brick building with high ceilings and flexible space for farm vendors.
“I think it’s a gorgeous building,” he said during a presentation on Tuesday at Crandall Public Library.
The city is planning to transform the block between Elm and Broad streets, including demolishing the former Juicin’ Jar at 49 South St., the former OTB building at 51-57 South St. and the former Daily Double at 59-63 South St.
The buildings are set to be razed later this month or in early September, according to EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew. He said it has taken longer than expected because two of the three buildings contained asbestos. Also, the state requires a lot of documentation, including environmental and historic assessments of the buildings.
The former Hot Shots building at 45 South St. and incubator space at 36 Elm St. will not be razed, but will be renovated by private developers.
In addition, the city will undertake a pilot program to close a portion of Elm Street on Saturdays from about 6 a.m. to early afternoon for the farmers market.
The overall concept is called Market Square. Hall said the goal is of creating a festive atmosphere for the entire space.
“This is not just going to be a farmer’s market,” he said.
JMZ Architects and Planners and The LA Group worked on the preliminary designs.
Bartholomew said that The Market will be have one floor, but its height will make it the equivalent of a two-story building. There will be about 20 stalls on the side of the building for vendors to pull up their trucks to unload their produce, or in the warmer weather, set up shop on the outside.
The design has some masonry, brick and glass, which will fit in well with the design of the Glens Falls National Bank building as well as the Crandall Public Library’s addition, he said. The building somewhat resembles Faneuil Hall in Boston.
There is a lot of competition for vendors at farmers markets, so he believes that the 20 booths is adequate, according to Hall.
David Porter, president of the Friends of the Farmers Market, said he believes that is sufficient space.
“Our winter market is about 20 to 25 vendors, and we don’t see a lot of growth happening in that area,” he said.
The Market will be owned by the city and there will likely be a part-time employee to manage the property, Hall said.
Bartholomew said the year-round farmers market will open up opportunities for vendors during other times of the year, such as maple syrup producers from up north.
“We need some young farmers to come in. We also want to be able to expand the season,” he said.
Hall said the city is looking to incorporate modern technology into the design, including LED lights and possible solar panels on the roof.
The cost of The Market is between $2.5 million to $3 million, according to Bartholomew. It is the centerpiece project of the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
In addition to the farmers market, Hall said the space will be able to be utilized for community events such as a bloodmobile or nutritional classes. There could be a variety of pop-up businesses during the week.
The city is going to work with SUNY Adirondack and Cornell Cooperative Extension of filling the space, according to Bartholomew. It could also play host to holiday events.
The Market will be accessible through a rear entrance that can be accessed via Elm Street.
A working group consisting of representatives from the farmers market, city officials and other interested parties will be meeting to design some of the specifics of the interior of The Market.
Hall said he welcomed input into the preliminary design.
The timetable is for the working group to make its recommendations into the design and then the request for qualifications will go out either late this year or the first quarter of next year. Then a developer will be selected and be required to go to the Planning Board for review.
Bartholomew said there has been some interest from developers ahead of the formal announcement of the concept. About a half-dozen developers have contacted him.
Bartholomew said the city hopes to start construction in June 2020. That timetable could vary a little.
The two buildings that will be sold to private developers, the former Hot Shots building on South Street and the former business incubator on Elm Street, will be integrated into the overall site.
The state Historic Preservation Office will be reviewing the design of those two buildings.
The city will develop a list of criteria upon which to judge submissions from developers. One of the key points will be that the plan must be complementary to The Market, such as possibly a farm to table restaurant.
Bartholomew said the city is providing about $1.2 million in tax credits for the developers to renovate those buildings.
In addition, Hall said the city would like to lease back the first floor to house the test kitchen and public restrooms
The buildings would not be connected to each other, but people would be able to get from one place to another through the site.
Construction could be wrapped up by the fall of 2021.
One question from the public in attendance was why the public bathrooms could not be in The Market.
Bartholomew said there is limited space in the 10,000-square-foot facility and it is cost prohibitive to put in a second floor.
The project also includes a parking garage, which will be located in the rear of where the current pavilion is now. The city plans to sell that lot to a private developer to construct a mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and market-rate apartments on the upper floors.
The parking garage would take about six to nine months for construction, according to Bartholomew.
City officials are excited about the coming redevelopment.
“It’s not your grandfather’s or father’s South Street,” Bartholomew said.
Read the full presentation below: