Eastern Market Advisory Committee Supports Major Changes for Market

Eastern Market Advisory Committee Supports Major Changes for Market

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 29, 2020

Last night the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) voted overwhelmingly to endorse the $300,000 strategic plan commissioned by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to ensure the future of Eastern Market and “reestablish the central place of the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill in the midst of a rapidly changing economy.”  The long-awaited plan was made public on October 7th and recommends major changes.

The letter to the Department of General Services (DGS) – drafted by EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder and ANC6B representative Jerry Sroufe – recommended that the agency officially approve the implementation of the report and sought details on some issues which the report did not specifically address. 

The strategic plan recommends replacing existing governing authority for the market – DGS with EMCAC in an advisory role – with a nonprofit public authority for the market composed of an equal number of representatives from the DC government and existing Eastern Market stakeholders.  The report states, “We do NOT recommend privatizing the market, a sentiment resoundingly reflected in survey responses.”

Among the study’s recommendations:

  • Form implementation working group
  • Restructure membership of the EMCAC
  • Transition management to a nonprofit public authority
  • Establish current leases for South Hall merchants
  • Build an online ordering system/pickup system
  • Set up a pilot for temporary food stalls in the North Hall
  • Focus on sourcing locally in origin labeling
  • Set up tables and chairs in the North Hall
  • Reconfigure the stalls in the south hall

The first step in the plan would be to form an Implementation Group charged with effecting the recommendations of the strategic plan.  The Implementation Group would be made up of representatives from the DC Council, DGS, EMCAC and other stakeholders including the market’s merchants, vendors and farmers, and three representatives from “established substantial Capitol Hill community organizations or commissions that directly interact with Eastern Market Special Use Area operations on a regular basis.”  In addition, members “should demonstrate a resume of professional expertise in relevant fields such as retail, marketing, law, planning, historic preservation, or finance.”

Here’s a link to the Eastern Market Home page: 


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One response to “Eastern Market Advisory Committee Supports Major Changes for Market

  1. Martha Huizenga

    any update on extending the hours during the week? 9 – 5 is really hard to make. I’m sure they are losing business from people who can’t take time to get there during work hours. (Ed. Note: On Wednesday night, EMCAC voted unanimously to send a letter to DGS requesting that the Market be allowed to remain open until 7:00pm from mid-November until the end of December.)