A recent report on Lexington Market commissioned by the city is recommending an estimated $26.7 million overhaul that includes rebranding and rebuilding the historic marketplace that dates back to 1782.
Amid crime and safety concerns and a general lack of cleanliness, the once-thriving west-side institution has seen patronage dwindle in recent years.
“For Lexington Market to be successful, it must become a welcoming place where everyone feels safe and where miscreant behavior is not tolerated,” reads the 333-page report developed by Market Ventures Inc.
While there are no concrete plans or funds in place to date, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is committed to the cause, according to Kaliope Parthemos, the mayor’s chief of staff.
The renovation is long overdue. According to a 2014 estimate from the market, the number of annual visitors has dropped to about 2.2. million from 2.8 million in 2007.
Possible plans could include a weekly farmer’s market, a new demonstration kitchen that could host events and cooking classes, adding evening and Sunday hours, and more varied food offerings to reflect current farm-to-table trends.