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City construction regresses Frenchtown farmers market, says neighborhood vendors

Posted at 11:54 AM, Oct 25, 2023
  • Recent city construction in Frenchtown has significantly reduced foot traffic at the weekly farmers market, say local vendors.
  • Leaaders are comparing the impacts on neighborhood businesses to Covid.
  • Watch the video to find out how you can support your community and what they're doing to convince you to come back.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Frenchtown farmers markets are known for their energy. They are weekly Saturday meet ups that resonate with the vibrancy of the community.

"See the hustle bustle, everybody's coming around, everybody's getting a taste of Tallahassee," said regular vendor, Marcus Williams, owner of The Goods Bakery Services."

Williams reminisced about the market, but in the past tense.

"It was great," said Williams.

So what changed? It boils down to a year-long City of Tallahassee construction project that completed in late September. According to the city, the work was a $4.5 million enhancement that improved drainage and utility systems in the area. It will keep things in working order for people who leave there. They said the access to the market was maintained.

But Williams said you wouldn't have known that because of all the road closures.

"It was two lanes, and then it was both the intersections being shut down," said Williams.

Although the construction has been completed, local vendors said the damage has already been done.

Owner of Recandled Kindled, Ashley Green, said people have rearranged plans for their Saturdays and forgotten about them.

"Community still needs to come back, there are less people, less shoulders to bump into," said Green.

Administrative Assistant at the Frenchtown Neighborhood Improvement Association, MarQuita Chambers, described the truth of the impacts.

"It's not as long as Covid, but pretty much the same," said Chambers.

And while it's not for a lack of effort, she said she's not hopeful about restoring the market to its former foot traffic.

"I don't know it's possible, but we're trying, we're really trying, we're brainstorming, we're trying to see more ways to come up with to advertise," said Chambers.

The next market will be held on November 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Frenchtown Heritage Hub on North Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. More details can be found here.