Have you ever been to Seattle’s Pike Place Market? Imagine having that style of market right here in the Tri-Cities! It turns out that the Tri-Cities area has tremendous resources and assets that could lead to a successful Public Market. According to Aaron Zaretsky, a past director of Pike Place Market and a globally renowned public market consultant who's helped raise over $100 million for public market projects:
“Public Markets showcase what is best about a community while meeting their everyday shopping needs. The vibrancy and color of the Tri-Cities Public Market will increase tourism and improve life for residents of the Tri-Cities.”
Unique, Timely Opportunity
Consultant, Aaron Zaretsky, said that a Public Market is feasible in the Tri-Cities. He also said that the Market should be publicly funded and it should be operated by a non-profit organization.
Secrets to a Successful Public Market
According to Zaretsky, Public Markets exist to fulfill public purposes. They consist of owner-operated businesses that reflect and celebrate what is unique about their region and that serve their communities everyday shopping needs. Public Markets are catalysts for the creation of vibrant, mixed-use, successful communities. They have a proven history of being a powerful economic engine that creates hundreds of new jobs, scores of entrepreneurial opportunities, and millions of dollars in new tax revenues. Finally,
“A Tri-Cities Public Market needs to be finely tuned to the needs and culture of the local and visitor community.”
The Tri-Cities Public Market will assemble a critical mass of local and fresh food businesses as well as regional crafts and prepared foods. Not only will it provide local jobs, it will also create a public space where different ages, income and ethnic groups, can rub shoulders in a safe, vibrant and fun environment. The success of the Public Market’s businesses will incentivize existing businesses to expand and new businesses to locate in and around the region. Taken together, the Public Market building, plaza, and outdoor farmers market will reinforce each other’s success and would be transformative for the area. (Zaretsky, 2015)
In the first two weeks after its announcement, the Tri-Cities Public Market’s Facebook page became the most "liked" page on Facebook in the Tri-Cities, aside from news media.