Public Joins in Planning Process for Proposed Public Market

By Dan Murphy

Around 130 citizens met at the Stansoll Building on Wednesday to share their ideas for the proposed Boston Public Market – an indoor, year-round public market that would showcase local produce, cheeses, seafood and meat.

The approximately 40,000 square-foot market would be located on the first floor of 136 Blackstone St., also known as Parcel 7, at an existing Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)-owned building that is also home to the Haymarket MBTA station.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has selected the Project for Public Places (PPS), a New York City-based non-profit, to create a “conceptual guide” for the market.

Steve Davies, senior vice president of PPS, said the guide would study consumer demand, vendor demand, a merchandising plan and layout, and operating requirements, among other factors.

“We don’t see the market as an island,” Davies said. “We see it as being integrated into the area around it.”

David O’Neil, senior director of public markets for the PPS, said the right product mix and quality vendors would ultimately drive the market.

“We think vendors are the most important thing,” O’Neil said. “They are what is going to draw people to the market over and over again.”

MDAR Commissioner Scott Soares said, “We see Boston as a word-class city and the best place for a world-class city and the best place for a world-class market to exist.”

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