The Week Ahead…and Update on Eastern Market Strategic Study
By Larry Janezich
Strategic/Business Plan for Eastern Market
The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee met last week to hear from Architrave’s Scott Betz on the status of the Strategic/Business plan for Eastern Market. Last fall, Architrave, a local architectural firm, won the $300,000 city grant to conduct the study.
Betz told the community that the survey* for input from residents and stakeholders is out and study updates are being posted on the website: https://www.easternmarketplan.org/. An effort is underway to distribute the survey broadly throughout the community and beyond.
Architrave is taking a deep dive into the history of Market management and governance, case studies of other public markets, and an operations analysis of Eastern Market. Invitation only stakeholder and business owner meetings are planned for late February and a public meeting in March.
The firm has reached out to the following community organizations for introductory meetings and to learn more about the organizations: Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Capitol Hill Association of Merchants & Professionals (CHAMPS), Capitol Hill Restoration Society, Eastern Market Main Street, Capitol Hill Business Improvement District (BID), DC Food Policy Council, EMPDC, the Hill Center, and ANC 6B. Representatives of these organizations will be invited to one of the stakeholder meetings in February.
Betz said that Architrave has visited market managers for public markets to find out about things that work and things that don’t work. Those markets include Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Lancaster Central Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Boston Public Market, and Findlay Market in Cincinnati. Betz expects Architrave’s recommendations to be guided by the operation of other markets and emphasized the need to promote the Eastern Market zone as a whole.
To that point, EMCAC board member Chuck Burger stressed the need to broaden the survey to those outside the immediate community. He said the whole Hill is suffering – “people are not coming here and spending money – what can we do to bring an outside audience to the Market?” Burger suggested that one way would be to advertise the survey in City Paper.
Betz acknowledged the need to widen the net, and noted that 80% of the 500 responses to the survey received so far have been from those living on Capitol Hill. But, he noted, this is before launching of the effort to distribute the survey “in community organization newsletters and on social media.”
*Here’s a link to the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/eastern-market-survey
The Week Ahead…
Monday, January 27
ANC6C Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Eastern High School, Parent Center, 1700 East Capitol Street.
ANC6A Transportation and Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, NE.
Among items on the agenda:
Request for ANC support for 2020 Capitol Hill Classic on May 17.
Comprehensive Plan comments plus request for ANC endorsement of the Comprehensive Plan comments from Capitol Hill Village.
Development of a course of action in response to DDOT response to ANC request for four way stops at all local-local intersections in ANC6A.
Tuesday, January 28
ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the February meeting of the ANC.
PSA 106 meets at 6:30pm, in the Community Center, 5th and K Streets, SE.
4 responses to “The Week Ahead…and Update on Eastern Market Strategic Study”
Architrave? You mean the Restoration Society’s preferred vendor for architectural history services? Here is the firm’s description of itself:
architrave is a nine-person, women-owned firm with an office in an 1893 row house in the Capitol Hill Historic District, three blocks from Eastern Market.
Founded in 1976, we specialize in historic preservation and sustainable design almost entirely for signature public buildings in Washington, DC. We work on some of the District’s finest historic structures, including those that often show up as background on the national news.
Why in the world did a locally connected firm focused on historic preservation architecture get a $300,000 business development contract? They’re preservationists, not management consultants.
This just reeks.
For the simple reason that if you look to the past then you don’t have to change anything in the future.
I suspect that when all is said and done, every market is different. Anyway, as long as I can remember, that is, back to the mid 1970s, there have been discussions, studies, meetings, and kerfuffles about the Eastern Market. One brilliant (sarcasm alert) idea from a now forgotten manager was to limit outside vendors to only selling what they grew or made. Taking that to an absurd level, we’d have chickens selling eggs. (A fun idea, but probably impractical.)
Bottom line, what exactly is the goal, what will this study accomplish others did not?
In response to the part of the article that says ” the whole Hill is suffering – people are not coming here and spending money – what can we do to bring an outside audience to the Market?”
I’d disagree that the Hill is suffering. Sure some merchants may be suffering, but other newer stores such as Trader Joe’s appear to be doing extremely well. Maybe Eastern Market would benefit from the addition of a few new vendors if it wants to generate interest from a wider audience.