Is this really going to happen?
We are determined that it will and are working hard to make it happen. We have assembled a team of people who have a mixture of backgrounds and expertise, including people with experience making big projects happen in the Tri-Cities.
What is the building going to be like?
Here's some quick details on the market plan as it's currently being discussed:
- 30,000+ sft open market area
- climate controlled, open year round
- tenant units of a variety of sizes
- numerous local restaurants and vendors
Based on advice from our consultant, we currently believe the most effective way to manage a public market is through a non-profit entity.
Our approach with this project is focused on creating a true experience with the market, building a community among the vendors and customers, embracing local music and arts, and proactively working to cultivate local small businesses as a part of our efforts.
The public market aims to have very affordable rents so that the smallest and most daring and creative of businesses has a chance to thrive.
What will be provided to vendors?
We plan to provide electrical, gas, and water hookups for many of the vendor bays. The smallest bays may not have these options. Because a public market will have a wide range of vendor stalls, there will be options based on the needs of the vendor. At a minimum, we would expect to make electrical, gas, and water available for many of the bays.
We will provide a lot of foot traffic to all vendors. We expect the market to be a popular place among a crowd willing and able to spend money. We have a perfect location, just off the highway, near the center of town, on a high traffic location, very close to the population center of the greater Tri-Cities area.
What should vendors provide?
We primarily expect these things from vendors:
- Vendors should have eagerness to help the whole market succeed. We are looking for competitive attitudes, but of the friendly, encouraging type—people who understand that the variety of vendors in the market is what makes a market successful.
- Vendors should provide quality products. The most successful public markets provide high quality products, openness to feedback, and constant commitment to positive improvement.
- Vendors should expect to be operating a full time business. We are asking vendors to commit to being open a minimum of 5 days a week, including on the weekends. Larger, or anchor, vendors will be asked to be open 6 or 7 days a week. Expect to be open for evening and possibly night hours. A Public Market is not a 9-5 business.
- Vendors should work hard and deliver great customer service. We hope to make this a very busy market. We want our vendors to have lots of customers and to be successful under pressure.
The goal is for the market to be open all week long, with each vendor committing to being open a minimum of 5 days a week. We expect many vendors will have evening hours.
We care a lot about making the public market a great experience for everyone. Our wheeled friend Kevin Lakey has agreed to serve as our accessibility consultant. Kevin has advised Seattle Pacific University and PNNL on accessibility, served on The Washington State Governor's Committee on Disabilities & Employment Issues for six years in related efforts, and most recently been an advisor for Kadlec for their floors 6-10 tower expansion.
We're looking forward to making the market a very kid-friendly location, with a few fun activities for kids and a strong relationship to the park.
Music and events
We want this project to have a strong tie to the local music scene. We believe hosting regular events at the Market will help drive customers and make our vendors more successful. We also hope to create opportunities to cultivate more local musicians and other artists.
We would expect there to be public sitting areas available for people who purchase food to be able to sit and enjoy their purchases.
SNAP tokens for EBT / Food Stamps
We hope to offer SNAP tokens as an option so people of all income levels are able to purchase food at the public market.
We want to be able to provide a range of products that reflects the things we make in the Tri-Cities, which would include alcohol licensing and working within the Washington Liquor Control laws.