After assuming ownership of York’s longest-running market last year, the city’s Redevelopment Authority is now seeking proposals for renovating the historic Penn Market.
With aims to revitalize the struggling farmers market, the RDA plans renovate the building by updating its amenities and making it code-compliant. Situated at the corner of Penn and Market streets, the year-round market has 15 vendors, but the 23,000 square-foot space can host up to 50.
To help better understand what the 23,000 square-foot, 151-year-old building may need, the RDA will accept bids until June 29 from qualified firms and/or individuals interested in assessing what kinds of services will be needed to renovate the market.
Nicole Davis, deputy director for York’s Department of Economic and Community Development, said she hopes an architect will provide guidance on how the building will best serve the community.
The RDA has already identified the market’s need for new windows and doors, fire-suppression systems, and upgrades to the bathroom, as well as the addition of another bathroom.
More recently, Davis said the market’s roof was replaced because it was leaking. And in bringing the building up to code and making it more energy-efficient, Davis said the RDA would be mindful of how to reduce operational costs.
The ultimate goal of the market is to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to a part of the city that is under-served.
The RDA expects to interview three potential architects in early July with a decision planned later that month during its board meeting, which is held on the third Wednesday of each month in the city council chambers.
Previously owned and operated by its vendors, the farmers market first opened in 1866 and has been serving fresh produce since. And with the RDA’s help, it’s the organization’s hope that it continues to serve York that way for another century, Davis said.