Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And at the Market, change is often met with resistance
High-rise condominiums are going up around the Market, ushering in an upscale class of potential Market shoppers. Four luxury condo projects within a few blocks are scheduled to open in 2008 and 2009, totaling 548 new homes. Average purchase price: $1.6 million....

Downtown condo dwellers have food-shopping options besides the Market. Specialty grocers such as Whole Foods....

These markets offer downtown condo dwellers something [the] Market does not — a place to shop for groceries after 6 p.m....

More pressure undoubtedly will be put on Market vendors and merchants — particularly those selling food — to stay open later to better serve the downtown condo crowd. That would mark a radical reversal in the up-early, home-early traditions of those who make their living at the Market.

And at the Market, change often is met with resistance.

The diverse mix of farmers, retailers, restaurateurs and artisans rarely agree about anything, and their relationship with Market administration has long been adversarial. Drama and anxiety are part of the character of the arket community.

Will residents of pricey condos insist that the Market abandon its gritty ways? Will the Market's administration respond by gentrifying the Market to meet a demand? And will the Market lose its character as a result?
Sound familiar, Philadelphians? But, no, this quote is not about the Reading Terminal Market. It's from this past Sunday's Seattle Times, and "the Market" is Pike Place. You can read the full story here, at least as long as the paper keeps the page alive. (And thanks to Paul Steinke, RTM manager, for bringing the article to my attention.)

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