A Feasibility Study for
Tacoma Public Market
Prepared for the
Tacoma Economic Development Department
City of Tacoma, Washington
The Scott Group LLC
April 15, 2005
Urban revitalization...Economic development...Progress.
…Today there is a growing recognition among local governments, private
businesses, and community-based organizations that our cities need new
definitions of "urban revitalization" and "economic development."
To effect meaningful and lasting change, cities must create
places where people want to be.
Through Public Markets, we have the means to address many of the more
vexing problems of our cities: the need to bring people of different ethnic
groups and incomes together; the need to make inviting and safe public
spaces; the need to reinvigorate urban shopping districts and to support
small-scale economic activity; the need to provide fresh, high quality
produce to inner-city residents; and the need to protect open space and
preserve farming around cities.
- From the National Public Market Symposium sponsored by Projects for Public Spaces
THE SCOTT GROUP LLC
1300 NE 68th Street Seattle, Washington 98122
Office Phone: (206) 322-4570 Fax: (206) 322-1425
Mr. Ryan Petty
Director, Tacoma Economic Development Department
City of Tacoma.
We are pleased to submit this initial feasibility study for a permanent public market in
downtown Tacoma. Following last year’s Downtown Retail Study by Maestri Design
Inc. and updated Downtown Housing Market Study by Real Vision, the City of Tacoma
Economic Development Department (TEDD) has continued to consider projects that will
leverage additional investment in the downtown core, while simultaneously providing
amenities to service the existing and growing downtown residential population.
Over the last five years Tacoma has flourished in providing new cultural, educational,
transportation and housing projects, yet downtown core has not achieved its inherent
potential in terms of basic retail and grocery service.
With existing public market structures in Seattle and Vancouver BC as well as planned or
recently completed public markets in Bellingham, Olympia, Puyallup and Portland, OR,
the Pacific Northwest is at the forefront of a growing national trend of revitalizing inner
cities through public markets. As downtown Tacoma looks towards its next stage of
growth, now is the time to explore the possibility of such an amenity for Tacoma.
With guidance and input from your department, this study was produced in three phases
over a three month period. The first phase consisted of interviewing the directors or
managers of eight public and farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest, and reviewing
related studies that the City of Tacoma already possessed. The second phase consisted of
interviews with local stakeholders, property owners and possible vendors and retailers. A
regional market analysis for a public market was also completed through this phase. The
third phase consisted of synthesizing the information assembled in the initial phases,
developing a pool of potential sites, generating a site selection matrix, building
development models and making several public market site recommendations.
The submittal of this document represents the completion of this feasibility study. It
contains the completed documentation of all three phases as well as our recommendations
and suggestions for next steps towards realizing a public market for downtown Tacoma.
The Scott Group
Scott Surdyke, Scott Mackay, Scott Nodland
Table of Contents
What is a Public Market?................................................................................................. v
What can a Public Market do for Tacoma? .................................................................. vi
Reflecting the Community .......................................................................................... vi
Serving the Region ...................................................................................................... vii
Creating New Jobs and Fostering Economic Development .................................... vii
Executive Summary .......................................................................................................... 2
Section I: Review of Existing Documentation ............................................................... 5
Ford Foundation Application, September 2004......................................................... 5
2003 Downtown Retail Strategy Report ..................................................................... 5
Section II: Tacoma’s Public Market History ................................................................. 6
1891: The C Street Market........................................................................................... 6
1927: The Crystal Palace Market................................................................................ 6
World War II: Demise of the Crystal Palace ............................................................. 8
Section III: Public Goals & Benefits of a Public Market ............................................. 8
Serve Growing Downtown Residential Community.................................................. 8
Business Incubator........................................................................................................ 8
Promote Broader Economic Growth / Employment ................................................. 9
Public Gathering Place / Building Community.......................................................... 9
Preserve Local Farmland ........................................................................................... 10
Section IV: Regional Market Analysis......................................................................... 10
Methodology ................................................................................................................ 11
Income Levels .............................................................................................................. 12
Household Spending – Fresh Food Taken Home..................................................... 12
Capture Rate and Unmet Demand............................................................................ 13
Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 14
Section V: Interview Summaries .................................................................................. 15
Regional Market Interviews....................................................................................... 15
Local Stake Holder Interviews .................................................................................. 18
Section VI: Public Market Types ................................................................................. 22
Farmers Market .......................................................................................................... 22
Public Market.............................................................................................................. 22
Festival Market ........................................................................................................... 23
Section VII: Public Market Facilities........................................................................... 23
Open Air ...................................................................................................................... 23
Shed Structure............................................................................................................. 23
Market Hall ................................................................................................................. 24
Market District............................................................................................................ 24
Section VIII: Public Market Governance (Ownership) ............................................. 24
Full Public.................................................................................................................... 25
Joint Venture............................................................................................................... 25
Quasi Public................................................................................................................. 25
Privately Owned.......................................................................................................... 25
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Co-Op ........................................................................................................................... 26
Section IX: Public Market Program ............................................................................ 26
Public Goals & Space Planning ................................................................................. 27
Size of Public Market.................................................................................................. 27
Vendor Types .............................................................................................................. 28
Vendor Mix.................................................................................................................. 29
Other spaces (Restrooms, Storage, Garbage, Loading) .......................................... 30
Space Planning / Layout............................................................................................. 31
Parking Ratio .............................................................................................................. 33
Section X: Pre Development Strategies (Building Momentum) ................................ 34
Feasibility Studies ....................................................................................................... 34
Build Public & Political Support ............................................................................... 34
Designate a Site ........................................................................................................... 35
Zoning Review............................................................................................................. 35
Maximize Public Grants and Other Subsidies ......................................................... 35
Section XI: Attracting Private Interest (Ownership) ................................................. 35
Incentives ..................................................................................................................... 36
Property Disposition Techniques............................................................................... 36
Section XII: Funding Sources ....................................................................................... 38
Municipal Funding Sources ....................................................................................... 38
County/State Funding Sources .................................................................................. 39
Federal Funding Sources............................................................................................ 40
Non-profit/Community Development Funding Sources.......................................... 40
Appropriate Facility Type for Tacoma – A Market Hall........................................ 43
Tacoma’s Program: General Size, Vendor Mix & Parking.................................... 44
Operational Budget Comparisons (Regional/National) .......................................... 45
Conceptual Operational Budget – Tacoma Market Hall ........................................ 48
Ability to Carry Debt Burden.................................................................................... 51
Section XIV: Site Analysis and Selection..................................................................... 53
Site Matrix & Definitions ........................................................................................... 57
Site 1: Streets and Grounds Sites (Brewery District) ............................................. 64
Site 2: Freighthouse Square (Dome District)........................................................... 68
Site 3: Petrich/Bamford Property/East Side of Foss............................................... 72
Site 4: Colonial Produce/Johnny’s Seafood (Foss Waterway).............................. 78
Section XV: Development Models ................................................................................ 81
Participants in the Development Process.................................................................. 81
Cost Estimations Excluded from This Study ........................................................... 81
Conceptual Hard Cost Estimates .............................................................................. 82
Conceptual Soft Costs Estimates ............................................................................... 82
Cost Estimates – Top Four Sites................................................................................ 83
Determining the Gap .................................................................................................. 86
Financing the Gap....................................................................................................... 86
Section XVI: Conclusions & Recommendations......................................................... 87
Section XVII: Next Steps............................................................................................... 89
Creating an Initial Public Market Task Force......................................................... 89
Leverage City Assets................................................................................................... 89
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Refine the Site Analysis .............................................................................................. 89
Refine the Financial Analysis..................................................................................... 90
Bibliography .................................................................................................................... 91
Appendix I: Market Interviews ..................................................................................... 92
Pike Place Market (Carole Binder)- Seattle, WA .................................................... 92
Pike Place Market (George Rolfe)............................................................................. 95
Granville Island Market- Vancouver, BC ................................................................ 97
Olympia Farmers Market- Olympia, WA .............................................................. 104
Depot Market Square- Bellingham, WA ................................................................ 107
Pioneer Park Pavilion- Puyallup, WA .................................................................... 110
Lonsdale Quay Market- North Vancouver, BC ..................................................... 113
Westminster Quay- New Westminster, BC ............................................................ 116
Appendix II: Stake Holder Interviews....................................................................... 119
Appendix IV: National Markets ................................................................................. 132
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Why a Public Market?
The Downtown Tacoma Retail Study, conducted in 2003 by Maestri Design, concluded
that it would be difficult for downtown Tacoma to attract national retailers at this time,
based on current population demographics. However, with all the cultural, educational
and residential investment that has taken place in Tacoma, the natural next step in
downtown’s renaissance is to provide opportunities for services and retail. In lieu of
national retailers or a retail anchor, the Maestri study implied that local businesses and
retailers would have to step up to the plate to fill the demand.
The study also concluded that the city center is underserved in terms of grocery and fresh
foods, so the genesis of this report is to explore the opportunity to meet this need. Cities
throughout the region and across the country are rediscovering public markets as a means
to providing a focal point for their downtown cores. In many instances, permanent
markets are being developed in downtowns that are otherwise overlooked initially by
grocery chains. In this respect, the development of a permanent public market could
provide downtown Tacoma with a prominent new “retail” anchor, which could in turn
attract additional retail, cultural and mixed-use development.
This study explores the viability and the potential demand for a year round public market
in downtown Tacoma, and also explores potential sites and development scenarios that
could be considered by the public or private sector.
What is a Public Market?
Public markets are far more than supermarkets or grocery stores serving a city in a
number of ways. First and foremost, like a grocery store, they provide easy access to
fresh, high quality food goods for area residents. However, they also serve as a primary
community gathering spot and in many instances become the “heart” of an urban center.
Public markets serve as family destinations, venues for local events and artisans and
business incubators. Webster’s dictionary defines the word public as: “Of or pertaining
to, or affecting the community or the people as a whole”, while market is defined as: “A
public gathering for purchasing and selling merchandise.” A public market is thus a true
gathering place for the entire community.
Today most basic food and grocery needs are met by national supermarket chains, but
from an aesthetic, and cultural standpoint they do not compare to the authenticity of a
public market. Public markets and farmers markets are the traditional showcases for
local products, where commercial supermarkets primarily import fresh food regardless of
its source. A unique aspect of public markets is that they bring the grower, the product
and the consumer together, for an experience rarely found in a typical grocery store.
Public markets also provide a unique visual experience, with daily and seasonal displays
of goods in a festive and busy atmosphere. Public markets also go beyond supermarkets
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in their integration with other businesses such as restaurants, kitchenware stores and other
food related vendors.
Ideally, the experience of routinely shopping at a public market would be one that is
looked forward to, rather than something thought of as a necessary household chore. The
uniqueness of the products and the authenticity of the market experience helps create a
“story” that can be told with pride to family and guests: “I got it at the market.”
What can a Public Market do for Tacoma?
The Pacific Northwest offers excellent examples of public markets and farmers markets.
Throughout the research conducted for this report and in numerous studies conducted by
institutions nationally, Seattle’s Pike Place Market and Vancouver’s Granville Island
market are cited as two of the outstanding examples of successful public markets in North
America. Given this, it was interesting to note that Tacoma’s last public market was built
and operated by the original developers of the Pike Place Market. There are great lessons
to be learned from understanding the evolution, organization and impact of these markets,
however the goal for the Tacoma Public Market would be to create a market that
responds to its surroundings and reflects what makes Tacoma unique.
Enhancing Existing Urban Fabric
A Tacoma Public Market is an opportunity to tie in with and enhance the city’s existing
urban fabric, much in the way that the new projects occurring downtown are currently
reinvigorating the downtown core by blending old and new. The City of Tacoma is
blessed with a rich history of industrial and maritime trades, which is complemented by
the historic structures that still stand throughout the downtown core. In reviewing
possible sites for a public market, strong consideration was given to the overall
neighborhood character including existing or historic structures. Existing structures found
throughout these sites include materials such as concrete, corrugated metal and brick, as
well as wood beam interiors (It was also pointed out that the Foss Waterway
Development Authority is storing a number of old growth beams from the Municipal
Dock, which could be incorporated into a new or renovated structure).
Reflecting the Community
A recurring theme mentioned during the interview of regional public market operators
was that public markets and farmers markets create a strong sense of community pride,
and they tend to become the “heart and soul” of a city. Public Markets are also a
reflection of the diversity of a community, with unique vendors and customers of all
ethnicities frequenting them.
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Serving the Region
A Public Market in downtown Tacoma would not only serve the downtown core, but
would serve the Pierce County and South Sound region as well. Ease of access from I-5,
as well as a highly visible location, would serve as a beacon to bring thousands of visitors
into the downtown core on a regular basis. Building on the success of the Pike Place
Market and Olympia’s thriving Farmers Market, the Tacoma Public Market would
provide the essential market experience for Pierce County’s 753,000 residents.
Creating New Jobs and Fostering Economic Development
More than just a hub for fresh foods and specialty goods, public markets and farmers
markets are seen as catalysts for attracting additional economic development, leading to
vibrant new “market districts” in some cities. The success of adjacent high density,
mixed-use development found in other cities is a testament to the drawing power of these
attractions. The accompanying mix of uses can vary, with housing for low income
residents and the elderly being built alongside high end condominiums and apartments.
Businesses ranging from creative firms to start ups are also attracted to the vitality and
diversity of market districts. Industrial artist studios and live/work lofts can also be
found, as well as the producers of goods and light industrial uses. The City of Portland,
for example, estimates that its new public market will generate up to $500 Million in
adjacent mixed-use development.
The markets themselves are seen as good incubators for small businesses, and they offer
a multitude of full-time and part-time employment opportunities. Businesses such as
Starbucks and Sur la Table, which have become very successful national retailers, got
their start at the Pike Place Market. Tacoma may realize its own opportunity to develop a
unique new attraction such as a public market that will serve to generate local economic
development while at the same time providing the city with a timeless and useful amenity
that will be frequented and cherished by the entire region.
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The conclusion of this report is that the City of Tacoma and the Pierce County region
could support a moderately-sized public market hall of 19,000 gross sf (9,500 net sf of
leasable vendor area), which would contain approximately 25 vendors. This proposed
market size (9,500 net sf) is less than half of the 21,000 net sf size of three comparable
public markets in the Vancouver BC area, and is roughly 60% the size of the national
average public market size of 15,300 (from Urban Land Institute/Project for Public
Spaces). We believe this size is also sufficient to attract peripheral economic
development, which could result in a larger, mixed-use market district similar to those
found in Seattle and Vancouver, BC, and planned for Portland, OR.
This study proposes a Tacoma Public Market Model with vendor gross sales of roughly
$4.5 million from existing potential gross sales opportunity (utilizing conservative
capture rates), in excess of $18 million. A public market in downtown Tacoma would
serve as an amenity convenient to its immediate and larger target market area, which
contains over 753,000 residents. The study’s conclusions are based upon on detail of
local demographics, including population per capita expenditure on grocery and food-
related goods, in the market analysis section of the report.
The market hall model proposed considers existing sites which are both appropriate for a
market hall structure and have the capacity for additional or periphery development
(potential to grow into a market-oriented district). This study’s research suggests distinct
economic advantages in the adaptive re-use of an existing structure (vs. new
construction), assuming a market hall structure with an estimated development cost of
approximately $1.7 million (plus costs of land and tenant improvements).
Site visits and interviews of the directors of eight regional markets from Portland, OR to
Vancouver, BC, were conducted for this report, (and measured against other background
research on national public market experiences), as well as numerous interviews with
local stakeholders and property owners.
The demand for public markets and farmers markets is growing both regionally and
nationally, and smaller cities are finding them to be successful in promoting additional
economic development. As Tacoma still has plentiful site options in its downtown core,
there is good potential for Tacoma to realize a new mixed-use “market district,” which
could encompass several blocks and provide a strong new regional retail anchor for its
growing downtown core.
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Top Four Recommended Sites for the Tacoma Public Market
Based on existing studies as well as input from the case study interviews, a set of criteria
was established from which to evaluate the potential sites (please see Section XIV). From
fifteen initial sites, four were chosen as the most probable locations for a public market,
and with the greatest potential for promoting additional economic development.
The sites are:
1. The “Streets & Grounds” Site (Brewery District): Includes three City-owned
parcels located at South 23rd & Holgate Street. The central parcel, formerly a
maintenance shop, includes a two-story concrete warehouse that could serve as
the main market hall. The configuration of these multiple warehouse structures
would give the market an historic feel and potential for a sprawling market
district, similar to that of the Pike Place Market.
2. Freighthouse Square/Pierce Transit Plaza (Dome District): Includes the 380’
portion of Freighthouse Square located west of the Sounder lobby, the outdoor
plaza of the Pierce Transit garage, and the adjacent property known as the “Pierce
Transit Shed.” This portion of Freighthouse Square could be renovated into a
public market hall, while the Pierce Transit plaza would house the Farmers
Market . Additional market and mixed-uses could be developed in the adjacent
Pierce Transit property. This market would have high visibility and excellent
3. Petrich/Bamford Site (East Side of Foss Waterway): Includes two potential sites
that flank the east side of the Murray Morgan Bridge, which are currently owned
by Claire Petrich and Kathryn Bamford. Both properties have existing structures
that could serve as market halls, and there is plenty of open space for parking and
for a farmers market. A market at this location would have high visibility, and
could build off of the existing “Tideflat Trader” merchants, which sell a range of
imports and crafts. This model, which would also consider additional arts and
maritime uses, would be similar in concept to Vancouver’s Granville Island
Note: At the time of this report both property owners (Claire Petrich and Kathryn
Bamford) expressed interest in the market concept. However, we understand that
the Petrich property is under consideration for the Urban Waters project, which
may affect its availability.
4. Colonial Produce/Johnny’s Seafood (West Side of the Foss Waterway): These
two sites could anchor a mixed-use development that would provide a major new
attraction and amenity for the south end of the Foss Waterway. The site currently
houses Johnny’s Seafood, which could remain or could be incorporated into a
new or renovated structure. The zoning and location lends itself to a high-density,
mixed-use component, which would most likely be developed on adjacent sites.
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Per the evaluation results summarized in the Site Matrix (Section XIV), there were
three additional sites whose score was comparable to the Colonial Produce/Johnny’s
Seafood site. However, because of expressed interest by the Foss Waterway
Development Authority as well as recent news articles and discussions of a market at
this location, it was determined that this site should be considered to be among the
top four because of the interest expressed for a market at this location.
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Section I: Review of Existing Documentation
As part of the report The Scott Group reviewed four existing reports the city has
commissioned or possessed that related to either public markets or downtown retail
demand. The Scott Group reviewed these reports and incorporated relevant information
and analysis from them into this report. The first report was an initial City-sponsored
study that identified the municipal garage at 9th & Commerce as the best site for a public
market (this site was considered one of the potential sites for this study). The additional
publications were as follows:
Ford Foundation Application, September 2004
The Tacoma’s Farmers Market applied in September of 2004 to the Ford Foundation for
$65,000 grant. The grant was to assist the Farmers Market in carrying out a three-phased
feasibility study for expanding the Farmers Market and creating a exploring a permanent
market location. The grant application cited the Dome District and a location near the
light rail station as the most likely future home for a permanent farmers market. This area
was preferred because of its parking reservoir, access to a multimode transportation
network and its ability to house a transitional market location on the plaza of the Sound
Transit parking garage until a permanent home was identified. The Farmers Market also
considered the adjacent metal-clad shed structure owned by Pierce Transit. This site has
also drawn interest from Mercy Housing for an affordable housing project. If Mercy
Housing moved forward they had expressed a willingness to consider the Farmers Market
as the user of all or some portion of their required retail ground floor. Unfortunately, the
Tacoma Farmers Market did not receive the grant.
2003 Downtown Retail Strategy Report
The Tacoma Economic Development Department hired Maestri Design Inc. to develop a
strategy and linked recommendations for revitalizing Tacoma’s downtown retail. In
doing this, Maestri met with numerous stakeholders as well as physically assessed the
appearance and operational trends of downtown retail establishments. They also carried
out a more formal retail audit. The Audit noted substantial unmet demand for 375,000sf
to 500,000sf of retail. Of this, 75,000sf to 100,000sf of the demand was for grocery or
personal service establishments. Following their assessment they delivered a series of
recommendations for improving the downtown retail environment. Their primary
• Brand five “nodes” (small activity hubs) in the city
• Create a unified system of way-finding between these nodes
• Market downtown with a unified message
• Implement design review
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Residential Market Analysis for Downtown Tacoma
Tacoma Economic Development Department has used Suzanne Britsch of Real Vision
Research, Inc to prepare a housing supply and demand study for downtown Tacoma Ms.
Britsch estimates that there is an annual demand for 1,617 units per year, 355 to 550 of
which are for-sale units. Alternately she found that the developers are only supplying
approximately 700 units a year, which are primarily for-sale units. The report noted
several amenities that downtown Tacoma still lacks that are high on the list for attracting
downtown residents. Of note were;
• Lack of on-site parking for renovated buildings
• Lack of grocery and /or convenience stores
• Lack of major retail shopping
• Lack of high-quality or upscale restaurants
The report also noted that price points for housing have been growing rapidly, with the
majority of units in 2001 selling for between $100,000 and $149,000 and in 2004 this
range has moved up to between $300,000 and $349,000 with the highest priced units
selling above $500,000.
Section II: Tacoma’s Public Market History
For many cities, the development of a public markets today serves to create a link to the
grand historic markets of the past, and Tacoma is no exception. As part of The Scott
Group’s basic investigation into a public market for the City of Tacoma, we researched
the city’s history of public markets to find that indeed public markets had a strong
presence in Tacoma until after WWII..
1891: The C Street Market
Tacoma built its first public market hall in 1891 between 23rd & 25th Streets, on C Street.
The market was an all wood shed structure, but designed in the classical revival style
featuring arches and columns. Originally designed as a 600 foot long structure, only the
first portion of the hall was built, measuring 133’x 46’ (6,118 sf). It is unclear what
happened to this market but Tacoma’s growing population coupled with the City of
Destiny’s ambitious attitude led to the construction of a grand new public market in 1927.
1927: The Crystal Palace Market
Billed as “The Northwest’s Greatest Food Emporium,” the Crystal Palace Market,
located on the SE corner of Market Street and S. 11th, was built at a cost of $300,000 by
Arthur Goodwyn, president of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. As Mr. Goodwyn liked to
proclaim, Tacoma’s Crystal Palace Market was “One of the largest of its kind in the
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world.” Indeed the market was large, with 189 permanent vendors in a multileveled
60,000 square foot structure.
In addition, the building featured a covered, open-air arcade with 50 tables for farmers.
Onsite restaurants and office space were also featured. He noted in one interview that:
“Under the one roof of the market will be assembled the finest,
largest and most complete display of foodstuffs to be found
anywhere. . . . Other market buildings along Market Street….will
eventually have to conform, giving Tacoma a typical modern and
metropolitan market district”
The large size and variety of the Crystal Palace Market was the result of a study of “the
most successful market types,” by market planner Charles B. Hurley. He concluded that
a “combination market” that included permanent merchants indoors and seasonal
producers (farmers) in the adjacent arcade would be the best model. The market was
built of reinforced concrete with brick and terra cotta exterior, which is also typical of the
historic structures found at the Pike Place Market. The market featured four levels that
were connected by a series of ramps, and a third level skybridge that connected it with
The Fisher Company, a large department store. The lowest level featured market stalls, a
50-ton refrigeration unit and parking. The second (mid) level, between the alley and
Market Street, featured market stalls, lunch counters, barber shop and a grocer store.
Third floor (Market Street) featured 60 stalls. Fourth floor featured office space.
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World War II: Demise of the Crystal Palace
The internment of the Japanese was largely blamed as the reason for the demise of the
Crystal Palace Market. Over half of the permanent merchants and seasonal farmers were
Japanese, and within months the Market was in default with its lenders. The market
changed its format and tried to adapt, adding a pharmacy, a large grocery store (Piggly
Wiggly), and finally tried to survive as a bowling alley. The overall decline of downtown
Tacoma and the rise of post WWII national grocery market chains helped to seal the fate
of the Crystal Palace, and the building was eventually demolished.
Section III: Public Goals & Benefits of a Public Market
The City of Tacoma has invested a great deal in specific infrastructure and cultural
amenity projects over the last few years. There has in fact been just over $1 billion in
public and private investments in the downtown core in the last 5 years. Major public
investments included a satellite campus for the University of Washington, the new
Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass, Sound Transit’s new LINK light rail line
and multimodal transit station, the new convention center, the new esplanade on the Foss
Waterway and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. These public investments have prompted
private investment that includes a number of new housing projects (both for-sale and for
rent) as well as new restaurants, cafes, and the new Marriott Hotel. The Tacoma
Economic Development Department (TEDD) would like to see this momentum
continued. They believe a public market would do this on several levels:
Serve Growing Downtown Residential Community
TEDD believes that Downtown Tacoma continues to lack several critical amenities
sought by residential dwellers, one of the most basic of which is convenient, quality
grocery selection. Currently in the area near downtown Tacoma there is only one such
quality merchant, the Stadium Thriftway. Though a public market does not bring the full
spectrum of goods that a modern full service supermarket can, a public market does a
superior job of delivering quality food goods. Any such market would however need to
be a seven day a week, year round operation if it is to serve a role similar to a
supermarket or grocery store. A market also generally brings a cache to an area that’s
usually not achievable by a typical grocery store. Such an addition would greatly assist
in making downtown more appealing to residential dwellers.
There is a growing awareness that small local businesses are an ever increasing important
player in job growth. They are in fact believed by economists to be responsible for a
majority of the job growth in this country. This has led local and national leaders to
search for new ways to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. In this effort to grow
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business a great deal of attention has been focused on the production side of business.
However not all products are for export and the importance of distribution is just as
important. Public markets offer entrepreneurs and startup businesses something they
cannot create by themselves; viable locations in which to sell their products or services.
The relative affordability of stalls makes a public markets a natural incubator for new
food-oriented businesses. Compared to leasing typical retail space, market stalls offer
much lower financial risk to a merchant, as they typically include a basic tenant
improvement and businesses can be up and running with relatively limited startup costs.
The set-up of moving from “daystall” to “permanent daystall” allows farmers and small
vendors, to get in at the “daystall” level, and after grow to one of the smaller
“transitional” stalls, and eventually lease a larger, permanent stall. In addition, the nature
and demand of these stalls helps mitigate risk to the market operator, as the stalls can
easily be leased if one business does not succeed. In addition, the concentration of
vendors and businesses draws much more foot traffic than a single or smaller group of
vendors could attract. The opportunity to co-locate in a public market is more attractive
and less risky than opening a stand alone business in a traditional neighborhood street
Further, in efforts to reduce the initial barriers to entry for these businesses, some
municipalities have streamlined the permitting and licensing processes for merchants
locating in a market or market district. Some jurisdictions have even granted the public
market entity an “umbrella” business license, whereby individual vendors operating
within a market structure are not required to acquire individual business licenses.
Promote Broader Economic Growth / Employment
Public markets generate numerous kinds of economic growth. They attract development
and business in the surrounding area, they require vendors to hire sales staff and they
employ numerous people locally in production of the goods sold by the vendors.
Granville island’s forty seven vendors employ 150 full-time individuals and 200 part-
time. Seattle’s Pike Place Market employs nearly 2000 individuals. Markets have a
further catalytic effect. A market’s drawing power often lures businesses whose client
bases are similar to those of the market itself. This generates increased occupancy levels
in buildings surrounding the market, which in turn drives increasing property values and
a municipality’s tax base. The City of Portland estimates that its new market district will
generate up to $500 Million in development attracted to the public and farmers markets.
Public Gathering Place / Building Community
Public markets often become one of the most visited attractions in a city, as well as
attracting a diverse group of visitors. Markets attract visitors from all ethnicities and
socioeconomic backgrounds. It is in fact one of the few urban retail experiences where
such a wide spectrum of society will sell, shop and mix together.
The Scott Group 9 05/24/05
Markets also re-establish the human aspect of food production and distribution. The
direct contact with the farmer, owner, or craftsman selling product is becoming again
appreciated by consumers faced with mass produced and distributed commodities. This
direct contact often creates bonds of buyer loyalty unprecedented in more typical
As Tacoma has experienced, tourism is good for the local economy. It brings individuals
who spend money in the economy without utilizing public services, creating a net gain.
Tourism also creates jobs and improves the business climate for restaurants, hotels and
local retail merchants. For example, Seattle’s Pike place market is the largest tourist
attraction in the Pacific Northwest, with an annual visitor level near 10,000,000.
Olympia’s farmers market often has two to three tour busses a day during the height of its
season. The additional attraction of a public market could also increase the number of
visitors to Tacoma’s downtown museums, which in turn increases the time visitors stay in
Tacoma and subsequently the amount they spend.
Preserve Local Farmland
Public markets can also have significant impact on a region’s agricultural economy. The
rise of national grocery chains and corporate farming greatly reduced small independent
farmer capacity to sell their products. This economic pressure on small farms is
accentuated in areas of suburban expansion, where the dwindling ability to make an
income by small farmers, along with the increased value of agricultural land if taken out
of production and sold for development, has resulted in the rapid loss of close-in
Public markets and regional farmers markets remove the costs of the middle man by
allowing farmers to directly retail their produce and market to the consumer (increasing
farmer income). Markets further turn a farm’s close-in location into an asset from a
delivery of goods standpoint, since there is no long haul shipping or freight costs. Direct
selling also promotes the awareness of consumers as to the quality, quantity and variety
of produce that can be sourced locally.
Section IV: Regional Market Analysis
A significant factor in determining whether a public market will be successful or not is
the public market’s ability to serve and attract customers. In determining this ability a
number of variables are evaluated including population and employee density, income
levels, gross sales of similar products, consumer capture rates, unmet demand and
competition. This study proposes a Tacoma Public Market Model with vendor gross sales
estimated at roughly $4,500,000 which will be more thoroughly discussed in Section
The Scott Group 10 05/24/05
Typical retail market analyses are carried out utilizing what is know as a leakage or sales
gap analysis. This is done by comparing estimated consumer spending with total retail
sales to determine if there is more
estimated consumer spending in a
designated geographic area (the primary
trade area) than there is captured sales.
The amount of this gap or leakage is
measured against the gross sales
requirements of the retailer. This method
however becomes problematic in the
realm of fresh food sales because of the
lack of tax data on fresh food sales.
Many fresh food sales are not taxed and
thus base line sales data is not available.
An alternate method is employed
utilizing estimated expenditure and
typical capture rates for the grocery
industry and constructing the gap model
from B&O taxes rather than direct using
sales tax data.
The City Of Tacoma has delineated an area into which the public market is to be located.
The map above outlines this area which encompasses the greater downtown, the Brewery
District, the Dome District and the Foss Waterway.
The geographic center of this map was also utilized as the geographic center for the
competitive market analysis of this report. Public markets tend to draw customers from
distances further than the typical supermarket or grocery stores which have primary trade
areas of 1-2 miles. A primary trade area is the distance over which a majority, (60-
65%), of customers are willing to travel to a particular retail establishment. Public
markets tend to draw from a much wider area than the typical supermarket because they
are seen not only as a source for basic grocery needs but as destinations and experiences
in and of themselves. We have investigated statistical information for 1, 3, 5 and 10 mile
radii as well as information for Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap Counties. Research suggests
that it is not unusual for customers to drive up to 30 minutes to shop at a public market.
Base population, income and expenditure data was generated by the City of Tacoma
utilizing a program named “Extend the Reach” by SRC Demographics. Total retail sales
data was generated by The City of Tacoma utilizing its B&O tax data.
The Scott Group 11 05/24/05
The Greater South Puget Sound (Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap Counties) has a total
population of approximately 1,225,000 people. Pierce County alone has over half that
with a total population of 753,228. Moving in towards Tacoma’s downtown core, a 3-
mile ring produces a population of 92,898 and a 1-mile ring (more or less synonymous
with the downtown core) a population of 13,167. Though the population drops
dramatically as one approaches the downtown core to a population level below that one
might look for in a traditional 1-2 mile primary trade area for a typical grocery store,
these population numbers do not reflect the growing number of employees populating the
downtown core on weekdays. A 3-mile ring produces an employee population of 89,997
and a 1-mile ring produces an employee
population of 30,882. Employee
populations generally generate a great
deal of weekday customer traffic (lunch
and some fresh foods) for public
markets when they are located adjacent
to the business core.
The current average household income
in the Tri-County South Sound is
$59,925. In Pierce County the 2004
projected average household income is
$59,046. Income levels however
decrease when one looks at statistics
inside the Tacoma city limits and
further still toward Tacoma’s downtown
core. This is not surprising given that
some of the South Sound’s most affluent neighborhoods sit just outside the Tacoma city
limits and downtown core. Within the defined downtown (1-mile ring) average
household incomes drops to $36,841. However, as noted above, public markets tend to
draw customers from a range substantially further than the 1-2 mile primary trade area of
an urban grocery store. Further, the disposable income of the downtown workforce of
31,000 (within a 1-mile ring) is anticipated to boost the sales beyond what one might
expect from looking at per-capita or median household income levels of those living in
the downtown core.
Household Spending – Fresh Food Taken Home
An important means of determining the success of a retailing venture is to determine the
number of households within the applicable market, what households typically spend
annually on the type of item/s being sold and what the likely capture rate of a given
enterprise will be in that market. The Tri-County, Greater South Sound market has
462,696 households with average household incomes of approximately $59,925 and
average annual expenditures of $4,700 on groceries and fresh foods taken home.
The Scott Group 12 05/24/05
Focusing on Pierce County the total number of households is 281,633 with an average
household income of $59,046 of which approximately $4,671 annually is spent on
groceries and fresh food taken home. Again, when focusing on Tacoma and its
downtown 1-mile radius the numbers begin to drop. There are 5,478 households in the
downtown core (1-mile radius) with an average household income of $36,841. It is worth
noting that the median household income in this same 1-mile radius is a very low
$19,301, (compared to a median income of $48,940 for the 3-mile radius.) This low
median income suggests average income level inside the 1-mile radius is skewed
upwards by a low number of very high income households. Above is a chart that looks at
the number of households, median income, and typical fresh food expenditures for 1, 3, 5
and 10 mile radius circles as well as Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap Counties.
FRESH FOOD SPENDING AND CAPTURE ANALYSIS
Average Avg Individual Est. Possible
HH Fresh Food Ring Cumulative Capture Annual
Households Income Spending Total Total Rate Gross
1 mile 5,478 $36,841 $3,782 $20,717,796 $20,717,796 10.00% $2,071,780
3 mile 36,660 $47,435 $4,102 $129,661,524 $150,379,320 2.50% $3,241,538
5 mile 94,618 $52,920 $4,351 $261,303,598 $411,682,918 1.00% $2,613,036
10 mile 239,725 $58,024 $4,617 $695,127,407 $1,106,810,325 0.50% $3,475,637
Tacoma 79,748 $41,131 $4,291 $342,198,668 2.75% $9,410,463
Note: The Tacoma number is for demonstrative purposes only an not included in the final tally.
Pierce Co 281,633 $59,046 $4,671 $1,315,507,743 $1,315,507,743 0.50% $6,577,539
Thurston Co 90,097 $60,460 $4,722 $425,438,034 $1,740,945,777 0.25% $1,063,595
Kitsap Co 90,966 $62,115 $4,796 $436,272,936 $2,177,218,713 0.25% $1,090,682
$2,177,218,713 0.40% $8,731,816
Possible Spending Available for Capture: $18,142,280
Capture Rate and Unmet Demand
Capture rates are the probability (expressed as a percentage) that retail dollars for any
given category will be spent in a particular location. Capture rates are based on two
primary factors: distance from the target area (the further away someone lives, the less
likely they are to travel to the target area to shop) and competition (if a customer has
numerous options for spending, the likelihood of their choosing a specific target area or
choosing a specific retailer decreases). Within the primary trade area there is only one
major supermarket, a Thriftway located in the Stadium district, but there are also a
number of other, more limited convenience or grocery options. It is not unreasonable to
believe that a public market (in a role competitive with supermarkets) would capture
some of the $20,717,796 of household fresh food spending by families in the primary
trade area (1-2 miles). Given an assumption that a public market, if established, would
operate 6-7 days a week, it is not unreasonable to allocate a capture rate of 10% of
The Scott Group 13 05/24/05
consumer fresh food spending, equating to gross sales of $2,071,780. This assumes that
on average people within the primary trade area will shop at the public market just over
once a week utilizing the public market as they would a grocery store or supermarket.
When the radius is expanded up to 10 miles (with progressively lower capture rates
applied) the total gross sales pool available for capture increases to $1,106,810,325
annually. A public market would only capture a very small percentage of those sales but
using low capture rates of 2.5%, 1.0%
and 0.5% for the 3, 5 and 10 mile radii
produces potential cumulative gross
sales of $11,401,991. According to
Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers
2002 published by the Urban Land
Institute a typical, local (non-national)
urban supermarket of 30,000 sf
achieves gross sales of approximately
$9,000,000. The importance of this
number is that a public market would
only need to capture approximately 7%
of annual fresh food spending in a 3-
mile ring to gross as much as the
typical urban supermarket. However,
as mentioned above public markets
tend to draw customers from greater
distances than typical supermarkets
and grocery stores do. Looking at
spending limited inside Tacoma’s city limits a public market would need to capture only
2.75% of at total fresh food consumer spending annually to achieve gross sales at similar
levels of urban supermarkets and grocery stores. But it is likely that a public market
located in downtown Tacoma would also capture some small percentage of consumers
spending in the Greater South Sound. If you then use a reduced capture rate of one half
of one percent (0.5%) of fresh food spending in Pierce County (excluding Tacoma), it
represents an additional $6,577,539 gross sales annually. Lastly, assuming that the
market will also capture some small percentage of Thurston and Kitsap County residents,
one quarter of one percent (0.25%) of grocery spending generates an additional
$2,154,277 in gross sales annually. Combining these numbers together creates an overall
annual gross sales potential of more than $18,000,000.
This analysis should not be interpreted as suggesting that merely building and operating a
public market will produce gross sales figures as noted in the sections above. Too many
variables come into play such as: size; accessibility of the market’s specific location; site
visibility; proximity to and cost of parking; quality of management; being a fully leased
market with the correct vendor mix and quality products vs. the opposite; etc.. Rather,
the analysis shows that the target market is underserved and that a public market does not
The Scott Group 14 05/24/05
have to achieve capture rates considered high by industry standards to generate gross
sales high enough to support a public market. As noted above, typical local (non-
national) urban supermarkets achieve, on average, gross sales of approximately
$9,000,000 on a 30,000 sf store or $300/sf. In the case of public market in Downtown
Tacoma the possible gross sales (utilizing conservative capture rates) are in excess of
$18,000,000. The conclusion that there is room for additional grocery vending is further
supported by Maestri Design Inc’s Downtown Retail Strategy report the City of Tacoma
commissioned in 2003. In this report a Maestri estimated unmet demand for 45,000 to
70,000 square feet of grocery which would capture up to $52,000,000 in gross sales
currently leaking out of the market to businesses located outside downtown Tacoma.
Again the analysis suggests that there is adequate unmet grocery demand or demand
being satisfied by supermarkets outside the Downtown core available to be captured by a
well-located, well-run public market in Tacoma’s Downtown core. For context, the
Olympia Farmers Market experience regarding vendor gross sales has been $3,700,000.
This study proposes a Tacoma Public Market Model with vendor sales estimated at
Section V: Interview Summaries
During the first two phases of this study The Scott Group met with the market directors
of eight regional markets as well as numerous individuals, business and institutions in
and around Tacoma that would likely have an interest in participating in the effort to
create a public market. Below are excerpts from both the regional market director
interviews and the stake holder interviews.
Regional Market Interviews
In the first phase of this study The Scott Group carried out interviews and site visits with
the operators and directors of eight regional markets (from Portland to Vancouver). This
included five public markets (completed or planned) and two permanent structures for
farmers markets (two completed and one planned). Site visits and interviews were
conducted for the following.
• Pike Place Market: (Seattle) Carole Binder, Director
• Granville Island Market: (Vancouver, BC): Ken Tunnicliffe, Director
• Portland Public Market: (planned): Ron Paul, Special Projects, Arts & Culture,
City of Portland
• Olympia Farmers Market: Charlie Hanny, Bob Sullivan, Managers
• Pioneer Park Pavilion: (Puyallup) Sarah Harris, Pavilion Supervisor, Sonie
Hansen, Assistant Director, Puyallup Farmers Market Ralph Dannenberg, Parks
& Department Director
• Depot Market Square: (Bellingham, planned): Tara Hardesty, Development
Specialist, City of Bellingham
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• Lonsdale Quay: (North Vancouver, BC): Gary Matheison, CEO, Continental
Commercial Systems Corp, Brian Dunkey, General Manager
• Westminster Quay: (New Westminster, BC) Nick Marini, General Manager
Please see Appendix I for the detailed interviews and testimony. Much of what was
learned from these interviews and site visits have their own sections in this report and
will not be repeated here. Please see the relevant sections. A list of these is follows
• Market Histories see Section II
• Economic Catalysts see Section III
• Small Business Incubators see Section III
• Ownership Structures see Section VIII & XI
• Financing Strategies see Section XII
• Managements Structures see Section XIII
• Site Location/Criteria see Section XIV
The following are condensed excerpts, suggestions, advice and personal “rules of thumb” from
various case interviews. These may not directly apply to a public market in Tacoma, but they are
some of the more common comments and suggestions from the interviews with market directors.
Market Programming Comments
• Location/Program Criteria: High visibility or an easily identifiable location
was important to the tourists and out of town customers.
• Parking/Auto access: Convenient, affordable and accessible parking was
also an important consideration. Some of the interviewees cited the
importance of being close to mass transit, while others stressed that most of
the customers come by car.
• Stake Holder Interest: Get all Stake holders interested, involved: Discuss
with grocers, landowners, tourism offices, chamber of commerce….build
strong local support.
• Stay focused on Food: Focus on food-oriented market. Don’t try to “offer
everything” such as crafts vendors, clothing, and tourist-oriented merchants.
• Second Floor Retail: Markets with second floor space tended to experience
high turnover, and would not recommend developing a multi-floor structure
for the “core market.”
• Collaborate with Farmers Market : Relationship and collaboration with the
local farmers market is very important
• Create the “Culinary Heart of the Region”: Focus should be on fresh
gourmet and regional foods and products. Tie in with local downtown
restaurants, culinary schools
• Phasing: Allow for phasing. Initial market could start smaller to establish
The Scott Group 16 05/24/05
• Branding: It’s important for the market to have a visible character and good
“brand” recognition. People want to tell the story that “I got it at the market”.
• Space for Weekend Vendors: is needed and is important
• Creating a People Place: markets created the “living room” for the City- a
place where all types of people gather and feel comfortable.
• Economic Benefits: Not so much a “real estate development” as an economic
investment: Cities should not look for a return on investment, but should focus
on the overall economic benefit.
• Markets must be self-sustaining: Revenue must be enough to cover
operations, plus reserves.
• Change Existing Shopping Patterns: You must change/break existing
shopping patterns of inner city residents and workers.
• Must be a Reason to “Go There.” Goal is to be a vibrant and diverse
“people place.” Look for sites that have potential reason for people to go there
or to naturally be there (i.e, don’t just put a market in the middle of nowhere)
• Distribution of Vendors: Don’t put similar vendors next to each other, in
order to encourage “wandering” and comparison shopping. GIM clusters
vendors into “3 sections” that include similar diverse mix.
• Market Should be for Everyone: A place for people to come and enjoy
without having to spend anything. It should feel safe, and the nature of
offering “unique foods” will attract diverse clientele, both lower income and
• Market must feel clean: Though the overall feeling is industrial, market
should be kept in clean condition (trash, stalls, displays, etc.)
• No National Tenants: ever (but they can have their start in the market)
• No T-shirts: market should stay true to food-oriented, and daystalls should
offer authentic crafts, not tourist-oriented knickknacks.
• Active Truck Loading is Good: Markets should encourage load/unload
throughout the day, as it is “authentic” to a working market, and adds interest
to the streetscape.
• Remember the History of the Market: It’s important for Cities to revive the
history of their own markets.
• High End Restaurants: Are attracted by the presence of an urban market,
and they support and provide publicity for the vendors.
• Viewing Opportunities: wherever possible, create opportunities to see people
baking, cleaning fish, preparing foods, etc.
• Local oriented, not tourist: In summer, traffic is 70% tourist, in winter its
• Proximity To Users: Close to residential, office population a plus. Whether
by foot, transit or car, a major component of the market location is that is
should be easily accessible and visible to the target market.
• Low Cost Structure: Should be a low-cost, low-maintenance structure.
The Scott Group 17 05/24/05
• Marine Access: it would be nice to have marine access, or to be able to sell
fish “off the boat.”
• Need to screen vendors: Want to make sure that vendors have engaging
“personalities” to sell the experience.
Local Stake Holder Interviews
In the second phase of this study The Scott Group carried out interviews and site
visits with numerous individuals, business, institutions and local property owner in
and around Tacoma that would likely have an interest in participating in the effort to
create a public market. Below is a list of these local stake holders and a summery of
some of the ideas that came from those interviews. Please see the Appendix II for
full interview write ups.
• Tacoma Farmers Market • Bamford Pottery
• Metropolitan Dev. Council • Haub Brothers Trust
• Tacoma Economic • Colonial Fruit & Produce
Development Department • LeMay Car Museum
• Foss Waterway Development • The Marcato
Authority • Keith Stone (former owner,
• Sound Transit Freighthouse Square)
• Pierce Transit • George Rolfe (first Director,
• Port of Tacoma Pike Place Market PDA)
• Univ. of Washington Tacoma • Kathy Casey (Chef and
• Bates Technical College Market Vendor owner)
• Johnny’s Seafood • Sur La Table (national
• Tacoma Boys kitchenware store based in
• Freighthouse Square Pike Place Market)
• Tacoma Dome Management • El Gaucho/Mackay
• Mercy Housing Restaurants
• Urban Waters
• DockMandu/Petrich Marine
There was a general consensus that a public market would be a great amenity for
downtown Tacoma. Many of the interviewees were familiar or even frequented
the Pike Place Market and the Olympia Farmers Market. Comments were made
that a public market would serve the new residents downtown, and could help
revitalize downtown development in neighborhoods such as the Dome District,
the Brewery District and the Hillside/Upper Tacoma. Though the thoughts of
where a market should be located (or shouldn’t be located) varied. There were
also numerous comments that a market should be close to a LINK light rail
station, as well as be located on the Foss Waterway (which is not served by rapid
The Scott Group 18 05/24/05
• Regional Vendors and Possible Tenants: Local vendors, such as
Johnny’s Seafood and Tacoma Boys, agreed that a public market would be
a good idea for downtown Tacoma, though there was expressed caution
regarding competition inside the market. Through interviews conducted
for this report the operators and managers of regional public markets cited
importance of competition. Other reports reviewed for this study
concurred. Maintaining at least two, (ideally three), of each vendor type is
perceived as a consumer benefit and more reason to shop a market. In
choice, consumers benefit from superior products, differentiation among
vendors within the same vendor mix categories, and higher pricing
Discussions with regional food-oriented businesses (Kathy Casey Inc, Sur
la Table, Mackay Restaurants) revealed common thoughts as to the
building of Tacoma’s reputation as a food-oriented city. It was suggested
that the City of Tacoma should get behind the marketing of the new food-
oriented businesses (such as the new or planned downtown restaurants, the
Metropolitan Market in the Proctor district and the new kitchenware store
in the Sixth Avenue District). It is important for potential merchants,
businesses and investors to believe in Tacoma’s growing position on the
Pacific Northwest’s “culinary map.” Comments included:
“The new, upscale restaurants will really help Tacoma
build a reputation as a regional culinary hot spot. This is
an important angle to develop, especially considering the
general lack of retail activity downtown.” -Kathy Casey,
chef and owner of Kathy Casey Food Studios and Dish
D’lish at the Pike Place Market and SeaTac Airport.
“Tacoma still struggles with a regional stigma, which must
be overcome in order to attract vendors and food-centric
businesses from the Puget Sound market.” -Susan Faw,
Vice President of Real Estate, Sur la Table
• Local and Non-Profit Agencies: Discussions with local educational and
non-profit agencies were held to garner interest as well as to explore
options for incorporating additional non-profit components into the market
program. The Pike Place Market is an excellent example of how non-profit
model, as it also has an affordable housing and human service division.
We met with a components can be incorporated in to the larger market
The agencies in the interview excerpts below not only agreed with the
concept of a public market in Tacoma, but each expressed interest in
additional components that could expand the overall mission and function
of a public market. These agencies also expressed an interest in furthering
The Scott Group 19 05/24/05
the discussion and to be considered as members in the core stakeholder
group or any task force put together as part of the market’s “next steps.”
The varied interests and combination of additional program elements
could result in a public market that is truly unique to Tacoma, and one that
offers a multitude of community and public benefits. Each of the
components to be considered would also work separately to secure grants
and public/private funding, similar to how these functions are currently
operated. They may also be considered as secondary or future additions to
the core market structure, or part of a Public Market District that evolves
over time. With the participation of these non-profits the overall market
could eventual encompass some or all of the following:
• Public Market Hall (permanent)
• Tacoma Farmers Market (seasonal)
• Business Incubator (agricultural, food, small business)
• Culinary Arts Program (Class Space, Kitchen, Café)
• Housing/Mixed Use Component
• Arts Studios/Arts incubator/Creative Businesses
1) Tacoma Farmers Market
• Current market vendors are committed to other markets on weekend,
so Tacoma’s market has been limited to mid-day Thursdays. These
vendors are already committed to weekend markets in Seattle,
Puyallup and Olympia.
• A Tuesday evening farmers market will begin in April at the Tacoma
Dome Station Plaza (facing Freighthouse Square)
• Originally identified the Dome District as a potential transition and/or
permanent home (per the Ford Foundation Grant Application)
• Agree that the idea of a year-round public market would help bring
foot traffic to induce farmers market vendors to expand to weekends.
• Understand that the public market focus would be to provide year
round goods, including fish, meat, dairy and wine (which are typically
not provided by farmers markets), and that the Farmers Market
component would be complementary and would retain an emphasis on
regional and seasonal goods.
Summary: The Tacoma Farmers Market (TFM) would be interested in
co-locating with a public market in downtown Tacoma (provided there
was enough space). It is interesting to note that the TFM currently rates
“lower on the list” in terms of commitment to primary market days from
vendors, since most of the TFM vendors are committed to other cities on
the more desirable evenings (Wed-Sat) and weekend days. An investment
of a permanent, year-round structure in downtown Tacoma would attract a
variety of farmers market vendors (drawn by the increased foot traffic).
The Scott Group 20 05/24/05
2) Metropolitan Development Council
• Supporter and Sponsor of business incubator component at Salishan
• Would be interested in participating in development of a public market
• Has been involved with Tacoma Farmers Market
• Has experience in obtaining grants for food and community-oriented
• Would be interested in a housing component (affordable)
• Believes that a business incubator component would be appropriate
(could include agriculture/food resources, “wired city” component,
education and outreach)
Summary: The Metropolitan Development Council is a multifaceted non-
profit agency that has expertise in a variety of non-profit endeavors. Their
focus on projects and services that help the community would be a good
fit for a public market entity. They have expressed an interest in being
considered a part of the entity that furthers the development of the market.
They bring substantial experience in affordable housing, community
services, agricultural and business incubator programs.
3) Bates Technical College - Culinary Arts Program
• Would be very interested in an opportunity to participate in a public
market project for Tacoma, from an educational standpoint. This could
include possible classroom space, a teaching kitchen, or a student-run
café sharing space in the market structure.
• Would like to become more actively involved in the Tacoma region
• The college is interested and committed to Tacoma’s economic
• Future focus is to expand “continuing education” programs such as
• Would like to be considered for participation in “next steps” towards
realization of the public market.
Summary: The expressed interest of Bates Technical College to
incorporate their culinary arts program into the public market brings with
it a component that most regional market operators stated was a very
desirable. A culinary and/or bio-agricultural education component furthers
the market’s role as a regional center for food and agriculture, and gives
the market an additional facet for both economic and community benefit.
4) Intercommunity Mercy Housing
• Has shown interest to develop affordable housing in the Dome District
The Scott Group 21 05/24/05
• Would be interested in exploring a mixed-use development with a
public market or a farmers market component.
• Has expertise in affordable housing
Summary: Intercommunity Mercy Housing has been looking at sites in
the Dome District, and is interested in the prospects of developing
affordable housing near mass transit and market uses. Because of their
interest and experience with grants and non-profit development, they
would be a good consideration to help advance the public market concept
Section VI: Public Market Types
Public markets come in various sizes and organizational models around the county.
There is everything from small ten-vendor, farmer markets that happen once a month to
large market districts such as the Pike Place Market in Seattle that operate year round in
multiple buildings over several city blocks. Many markets blend elements of each type
such as public markets that hold farmers market days or farmers markets housed in sheds
that operate upwards of 4 to 5 days a week.
Farmers markets are typically focused on providing regional fresh foods during the
growing and harvest season. This can extend to some fish, foul, beef, bakery and cheese
products as well as limited crafts. However, the farmers market movement had been
characterized by limiting vendors to products they in fact grow, raise, catch or produce.
This typically means that most farmers markets provide a more limited selection of foods
and goods, (foods that can be grown in the region as well as the foods that are in season.)
Farmers markets have also tended to operate within a range of 1 to 4 days a week, (the
majority around 1 to 2 days), and not at all during the winter months. Much of the
movement has been driven by a desire to promote the direct interaction of the producer
and buyer, keeping farmland in production and bring better quality products to the
Public markets are year-round full-week concerns that typically contain a wide variety of
vendors. Unlike farmers markets, vendors in a public markets often sell products well
beyond what can be grown, raised or otherwise produced regionally. Public markets
often encourage regional vendors but allow vendors to bring in non-regional products to
provide customers with a wide selection year round. Public markets also encourage a
wider variety of vendors with specialty, imported prepared and served food taking a
much higher profile. The goals of a public market are often similar yet different than a
farmers market. Where farmers markets have historically been designed as a way of
The Scott Group 22 05/24/05
preserving the local farming industry, public markets were primarily design to benefit the
consumer by bringing in a wide, year-round selection of high quality goods at a low
Festival markets are hybrids of a public market and a retail mall. Goods typically
associated with a public market or farmers market add atmosphere to the facility but
rarely make up the majority of the leasable area. Festival markets typically also include a
large food court as well as more typical retail merchants. Festival markets also tend to be
privately owned and operated . The Festival Market movement was very popular in the
1980’s with the development of Boston’s Faneuil Hall, Baltimore’s Harborplace and
Westminster Quay in New Westminster, BC.
Section VII: Public Market Facilities
Public market facilities come in all shapes and sizes, and many are comprised of a mix of
types, including enclosed market halls with attached open air sheds, open air sheds with
small enclosed vendor spaces, and shed markets with open air vendor areas.
Additionally, many larger market districts often contain numerous combinations of the
above mentioned facility types. Many would be surprised to realize that the main core of
the Pike Place Market is more an open air arcade than an enclosed urban market hall.
The size and feel of an air market depends on where they are located and the general
nature of the open space that’s provided. They can take place in parking lots, streets,
parks, under bridges or colonnades. Typically there are no permanent site improvements,
each vendor bringing all that is necessary to sell their goods. On days where the public
market does not operate there may be little to no evidence that the market exists on the
Shed roof markets provide varying degrees of shelter from the rain, sun and general
weather. They can range from simple structures with little more than roofs providing
minimal protection to large barn or colonnade structures that can be partially or almost
fully enclosed with doors. They however remain “open” air structures that tend to be
lighter on infrastructure improvements, often with no or only minimal electrical and
plumbing provided to vendors. This facility form is often used to stabilize and grow a
farmers market and thus is still primarily directed at transient vendors and stall
improvements appropriate to such. The benefit to shed structures is that at relatively low
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cost they improve the “presence” and public awareness of a market as well as provide a
more hospitable environment for shoppers during inclement weather.
Market halls are permanent, primarily enclosed facilities (though some are designed to be
very “open-air” with direct outdoor connections) designed to house a wide variety of
goods and longer term vendors. They typically offer a more complete set of utilities for
vendors as well as cold and dry storage facilities. Some market halls also provide full
climate control with both heating and cooling - some do not. Because of the higher level
of structure, utility service and climate control market halls tend to support a wider
variety of vendor types and are able to house such tenants year round in a wider variety
of climates. Market halls go beyond the typical seasonal and regional fresh foods found
in farmers market to include vendors specializing in fresh, dry, and prepared goods from
around the world. Market halls also tend to operate on a more competitive basis with
supermarkets than either open air or shed structures because they typically are open 6 to 7
days a week as well as year round.
Market Districts are geographic areas that contain a public or farmers market, as well as
additional non-market facilities that house compatible and complementary uses. They
may include other market-like vendors, creative businesses, light manufacturing, housing,
office space or production of goods or consumables sellable to market customers. Market
Districts are unique in that they can contain components of each of the other market types
(open air, shed, enclosed), and the core market vendors tend to be spread among several
structures. Market Districts often become a zone of highly synergistic economic activity
as well as incubators for new businesses. Designating a Market District helps cities
initiate a theme or identity for a redevelopment district. New development then builds on
the success and popularity of the market, thus reinforcing the neighborhood’s identity.
Section VIII: Public Market Governance (Ownership)
There are a number of different governance models used regionally. The model used is
often a result of the particular genesis of that market. British Columbia has a number of
privately financed and owned markets that are run by private commercial management
groups, but there is also the Granville Island Market, which is run by an agency of the
Canadian Federal Government. In Washington markets are governed under several forms
of public or quasi-public management models. Puyallup’s Pioneer Park Pavilion is fully
owned and operated by the city. The Pike Place Market is governed under the Pike Place
Public Development Authority, a quasi-governmental group independent of the City, but
whose governing board still receives appointees from the Mayor of Seattle. Olympia’s
market structure is on land that is owned by the Port, which is leased by the city and then
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subleased to the not-for-profit Olympia Farmers Market. A brief discussion of the
various forms of market governance models follows:
Some jurisdictions believe that their investment of public funds into a facility should
fully remain in public hands as many other public facilities do. The benefit to this
approach is that the jurisdiction can insure the facility is run just as they want it to be run
and may, at some later date, use or redevelop the property as they see fit. This control
also comes with responsibility to support the market/public facility in times where it is
not operating at a break-even or profitable manner. Puyallup’s new Pioneer Park
Pavilion is an example of this model. The downside of this model is that the facility and
its underlying purpose to house a public market is subject to political winds and the
reality that a government is running what is essentially a retail endeavor involving private
enterprise, not something government is typically know for.
A step away from the full public model is one in which a jurisdiction continues to own
the facility but master leases or turns over management control to another entity.
Typically these entities are not-for-profits whose mission is to operate a market. This
serves to both remove management from the political process for at least as long as the
lease term as well as allow the market management to adopt a more market-oriented
outlook than the typical governmental agency. It also lends the jurisdiction an amount of
distance from blame or responsibility if the market proves unsuccessful.
Creating even more distance between itself and the governance of a public market a
jurisdiction may create a subsidiary corporation or public development agency (PDA).
In this model the jurisdiction creates a quasi-public agency that is given governing
control and title to the market. Jurisdictions often retain influence by writing the mission
statement, governing bylaws, placing limits on the disposition on the title to the property
as well as retaining the right to appoint a percentage of the agency’s governing body.
The Pike Place Market is owned and operated by such an agency. The City of Seattle
now retains influence through mayoral appointments of one third of the markets
governing council. The benefit of the PDA model is that the market operation is
extremely removed from the political process and run by a group whose sole focus is the
market’s success. It also removes the city on an annual basis from direct responsibility
for operational shortfalls (though the political process may force this nonetheless). This is
the model more typically used for managing and developing public markets today.
Examples of fully privately-owned public markets can be found both regionally and
nationally. For jurisdictions that do not have adequate resources to build and operate a
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public market this is often a viable avenue providing that the jurisdiction can induce a
private company’s interest in investing and operating such a venture. A benefit of these
public markets is that public incentive contributions to such ventures are often limited to
little more than some mix of land, grants, low interest loans, provision of infrastructure,
tax abatements, loan guarantees, etc. These facilities often look, feel and operate similarly
to publicly owned markets, having a similar vendor mix but often have an increased
emphasis on food court and other anchor retail merchants and users such as hotels and
restaurants. The reason for this is that such markets are operated to generate a return on
investment. Accordingly, higher profit margin vendors become important in that mix.
These markets are not intended to achieve the complete spectrum of social benefits that a
public venture might be designed to achieve but do bring many of the benefits with them
as well as some not associated with publicly owned markets.
Though much less common there are examples of co-op markets where the market is in
fact owned by the vendors. This hybrid has aspects of supermarkets where there are
common checkout counters but individual segments of the market are operated by private
Section IX: Public Market Program
If there is a rule of thumb to be learned from public markets around the country it is that
they come in all shapes and sizes. They span the gambit from small shed facilities to
large public market districts spread over several city blocks and in any number of
buildings. The answer to how large, of what type, how many vendors and in what mix is
rooted in a number of issues. Some of these issues are more apparent than others. Some
of the more important ones are listed below.
• What goals are to be achieved by the market?
• What demand exists for the type of goods typically sold in a public market?
• What capacity does the vendor community have to occupy the market and meet
• What capacity have similar cities shown in their ability to support a market?
• What sort of spaces should a public market provide?
• What is the character of the area the market is located in?
There were, however, several consistent messages gleaned from the market managers
interviewed as part of this report. They included starting small with room to grow,
keeping the market’s focus on fresh or specialty foods, maintain local orientation, avoid
franchises and national tenants, watch the vendor mix and provide sufficient parking and
storage. Second story or “out of the way” retail struggles and if it exists should be geared
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to destination uses such as restaurants. It is also important to provide space for the local
Public Goals & Space Planning
One of the first questions for any public market when determining the market’s space
program is; what are the goals of the entity leading the effort to create a public market
and how do those goals affect the space plan? The City of Tacoma has a number of goals
they would like to see a public market achieve. A list of those goals that clearly impact
the market from a space planning perspective follows:
Serve Growing Downtown Residential Market
The City is interested in supporting and increasing the recent growth in downtown
housing. The City believes a critical amenity the downtown core lacks is a
grocery provider. They believe that a public market can satisfy this need as well
as bring a certain cache and higher level amenity to the downtown core much in
the way the Pike Place Market or Granville Island Market serve their respective
downtowns (Seattle and Vancouver BC). However to serve as a truly useful
grocery provider a public market would need to be large enough to provide the
fresh food goods in the major categories as well as operate seven days a week and
Year-Round Seven-Day Market
A year round / seven day a week facility pushes a public market towards a
permanent enclosable structure. Most year round markets have the ability to
enclose or protect the consumer and vendors from the worst elements of winter
weather, rain, wind and dropping temperatures. Mere sheds often fail to provide
enough protection though as the Pike Place Market demonstrates fully enclosed
temperature controlled environments are not necessary either. However, solid
roofed structures with adequate sidewalls or enclosable spaces (which protect
both vendor and customers) seem to be the minimum a year-round facility needs
Permanent Home for Tacoma’s Farmers Market
A permanent home for the Tacoma Farmers Market could take many forms. It
could be access to day tables in the market, a fully open air shed structure
attached to a market hall, or the use of an outdoor plaza adjacent to the public
market. Currently the Tacoma Farmers market operates a mid-day market on
Thursdays, and plans to begin a Tuesday evening market in April 2005
Size of Public Market
With any retail venture the basic question is what sort of demand exists for the type of
goods to be sold and how much space is needed to sell them. It was clear from the
market study that there is unmet demand in downtown Tacoma for grocery goods. A
public market is not analogous to a modern supermarket, as most supermarkets carry non-
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food items that public markets typically do not carry. Thus, when looking at the fresh
food oriented portions of most public markets, they tend to be smaller than the average
urban grocery store, (33,000 gross leasable sf. according to Dollars and Cents of
Shopping Centers 2002 ULI )
One can also attempt collating population density to size of a public market, but this is
more difficult because the overall size of a public market or market district often has as
much to do with history, length of time open, character of surrounding neighborhood and
density of the surrounding area, etc. The most typical approach is to build up a space
plan based off an initial program that outlines the number and type of vendors, their space
needs as well as the appropriate space requirements for other basic amenities and
circulation. The supportable number of vendors in the proposed vendor mix has been
validated through the earlier Market Analysis section in this feasibility study.
There are a number of considerations when selecting a particular vendor mix for a public
market. First is to make a distinction between “permanent” and “day-table” vendors.
The next is to distinguish between fresh food, food court, restaurant and craft-related
The majority of vendors in public markets are permanent. This is an outgrowth of
what a public market program is; a seven day a week, year round retail operation.
Thus, unlike farmers markets where vendors set up their stalls at the beginning of
each market day, public market vendors are in fact small business tenants in a
retail facility with longer term lease.
Most markets cater to transient or temporary vendors that may occupy a space for
a day or two each week or some other shorter period of time. Responding to this
type of vendor, public markets often provide spaces, stalls or tables dispersed
throughout the immediate market area. Market managers use these “day-tables”
to insert a sense of change and freshness in the market. They tend to rotate
(thought sometimes a seniority or gross sales ranking is considered) day-table
vendors so that customers coming back to the market and get a “new market”
each time they visit. Market mangers also use these spaces for their selected craft
vendors. It controls their impact on a market that is otherwise food oriented.
Food Court vendors focus on providing ready to eat foods typically consumed at
the market. Market managers closely control the number and location of such
vendors, primarily so the food court function doesn’t overshadow the fresh food
orientation of the market. Concentrating food court vendors can be advantageous,
especially with markets that are located in close proximity to job centers.
Generally, the food court functions as an attraction for the downtown lunch
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crowd, and tend to provide plentiful public seating. Granville Island concentrates
its food court vendors and public seating towards the water, while the Pike Place
Market disburses these vendors throughout the market district. Some markets
offer hybrids, where fast food vendors are also encouraged to offer fresh or take
Many markets incorporate more formal sit-down restaurants. This is not only
because there is a natural connection between the fresh food of the market and the
prepared food that often come from the market’s selections, but restaurants
increase the destination character of the market for both locals and tourists.
However because of the high level of investment required for restaurants they
tend to operate under the more typical commercial lease structures of all market
Craft vendors are often found at public markets, but their number and location are
typically controlled like food court vendors for similar reasons. Again many
public market mangers want to promote the market’s primary function, which is
to deliver fresh and specialty foods. Too many craft vendors can dilute the
markets focus, and managers must beware of flooding the market with “part-time”
craft vendors that offer mass produced, tourist-oriented items. Mangers do
however find a small percentage of craft vendors often lend a bit of flavor to a
market but they are typically relegated to day tables or some small percentage of
the permanent vendors. Craft vendors are sometimes restricted to those with
unique or artisan qualities. For example, hand crafted goods made from natural
materials are preferable to tee shirts.
Market operators can insist that businesses be owner operated in order to promote
a sense of authenticity and high quality service. This is one of the ways public
markets distinguish themselves from supermarkets, attracting loyal returning
customers who enjoy the experience of the market despite the inherent
convenience and variety of household goods associated with a supermarket.
Once the basic types of vendors that operate in public markets are understood an
underlying mix of vendors is selected. There are some fairly standard categories
that need to be met to promote the perception that the public market can serve as a
one stop shop for fresh food needs. Beyond that the vendor mix is a balance of
viable, diverse businesses and market demand.
Most public markets average a ratio approximating 70% fresh food vendors, with the
remaining 30% split between food court and craft vendors. Permanent vendors are
typically around 80% of the market and day tables represent the remaining 20%. There
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are also some fairly basic vendor categories that almost every successful public market
will have represented with their permanent vendors. They are noted below:
• Produce • Herb/Spices
• Meat/Poultry • Specialty Foods
• Seafood • Coffee/Tea
• Dairy/cheese • Wine
• Deli meats/cheeses • Confectionary
• Bakery • Flowers/Plants
Ideally a public market attempts to have three of each vendor type. This is to promote
competition and quality. Alan Hammond, the former general manager of the Granville
Island market put it “One vendor is a monopoly, two is collusion and three is
competition!” (p. 55 PPS). This number also tends to promote specialization by vendors
in the same category. Of course not all markets achieve this 3 vendor ideal, and continue
to operate successfully (for example, the Pike Place Market only has two butchers).
When creating a vendor mix, awareness not only of demand but of available vendors with
the quality and capacity to operate in the market must be considered. Many markets
operate with as few as one vendor in several of the categories.
Other spaces (Restrooms, Storage, Garbage, Loading)
There are several other categories of space beyond vendor stalls and public circulation
markets must consider. They are restrooms, cold and dry storage, garbage collection and
truck loading areas. These issues are all handled differently with the particular
development history of each market producing the outcome.
Minimally, a market needs to provide one men’s and one women’s restroom.
However, very few actually provide many more than this. Puyallup’s Pioneer
Park Pavilion has one restroom each for men and women. The Pike Place Market
District, despite its significantly larger size, provides only two public restrooms
for each sex.
Retailing requires storage space. Again looking regionally markets demonstrate a
number of different methods for handling this issue. Most markets have some
level of central cold storage for the large volume meat/poultry/fish vendors. The
fresh food portion of the Pike Place Market has a 2,500 sf central cold storage,
which satisfies the vendor’s basic needs. The Granville Island’s Market Hall,
with 21,000 sf fresh food vendors, has a 900 sf central cold storage which Ken
Tunnicliffe, the market director, believed could be larger by several hundred
square feet. However, one will also find in both of these market as well as many
others have distributed cold display cases as well as smaller cold storage units put
in by larger vendors.
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Providing central dry storage is much less common. Rather, dry storage is often
incorporated into vendors’ stalls because the space needs around this type of
storage tends to be less. It is however necessary. At Granville Island, where no
dry storage was provided other than the shelf space vendors turned many of their
designated mezzanine office spaces into dry storage.
Only the newest of markets or the fully private markets appear to have well
designed or thought out loading and unloading areas. The more established
markets tend to be limited by their historic character, the visibility of loading not
being a concern when the markets were originally developed. However, the
managers of the more established markets also believed that the activity of
loading and unloading of goods at either end of the market-day adds a level of
realism and activity to the market that many customers actually enjoy. On-street
loading does, however, require that the market layout accommodate the moving
of goods thru the market from various point along the street or site.
Many of the market managers noted that their facilities were either too old or not
designed around dealing with this issue. Carole Binder, the Director of the Pike
Place Market, said that a garbage holding area had to be built right in front of the
Market because there was no other location that provided enough access for the
merchants. Despite the Pike Place Market example, most market mangers noted
that there should be a central garbage area that is out of the way visually and
would not generate odors that would permeate the market on hot summer days.
Space Planning / Layout
There were some consistent messages about how markets should generally be laid out.
These range from the arrangement of vendors, to the function and viability of second
story or mezzanine space.
When physically looking through markets, stalls are found in every shape and
size. Market operators, however, tended to program base stalls that are roughly
10 ft x 10 ft (though some recommended 15 ft x 15 ft). This size allows for some
storage, display counters/tables and registrar space in each stall. This basis size
allows larger and busier vendors (fish mongers, bakers, butchers) to occupy 2-3
stalls if needed. Though 10 ft x10 ft may seem like a small space from which to
run a business, this tight space planning is part of a typical approach by market
managers. “Visual Abundance” was a goal of most managers, and tightly
clustered stalls help promote this by keeping merchandise efficiently displayed.
Manger also tended to keep vertical wall elements out of “interior” stalls and
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promoted “open” format stalls to minimize visual barriers for customers
(increasing the apparent activity and bustle of the market).
Market mangers interviewed for this report had some very consistent beliefs on
this subject. First, was that upon entering a market customers, should be met by
plants and flowers, then fruits and vegetables (for color and visual appeal). Once
inside customers vendor mix is less controlled but the anchor fish, meat and
poultry vendors should be spread out thorough the market so as to draw customers
to various point in the market. If there is more than one anchor vendor in each
category, managers suggested creating clusters where the basic fruit/vegetable,
fish, meat and poultry, dairy vendors are located together, creating several
“nodes” of similar goods.
As noted earlier in this report, there were two basic approaches to handling food
court and food court vendors. One was to group them in one centralized area of
the market, where public seating was appropriately provided (Granville Island,
Lonsdale Quay, Olympia). The other model disperses food court vendors through
the market, with limited or similarly dispersed public seating areas (Pike Place
Restaurants and cafes are found in many different relations to the primary market
space, above, below, alongside and in. However, an interesting pattern was that
the higher the quality and the greater the “destination” orientation of the
restaurant, the more likely the restaurant would be found in out of the way space
that could otherwise be considered marginal for retail. Many restaurants were
located on upper or lower levels, or were located in alleys or at the end of a
peripheral corridor. The Pike Place Market and Granville Island provide excellent
Like food court vendors market managers tend to limit the number and impact of
craft vendors. Through the interviews conducted for this report, three models for
craft vendor locations were observed. Some markets will group craft vendors
together (Pike Place Market), some disperse them through the market (Granville
Island) and some will run a completely separate crafts market along side the
public market (Portland). Market managers of the first two models felt it
important that the number and density of craft vendors be kept, like food court
vendors, at some small percentage of the overall vendor population. They also
limited most craft vendors to day tables with few if any permanent craft vendors.
This allowed market managers to continually change the character of the crafts
found at the market.
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Within market structures there must be balance between providing enough space
for customers to stroll and for vendors to get goods in and out, while keeping that
“sense of abundance” managers seek. Most market operators believed that
keeping the circulation spaces narrow was beneficial to the energy and function of
the overall market. In most cases the central aisles between vendor stalls were
rarely more than 10-12 ft wide, though the convergence of several corridors or a
central market “hub” could allow for a larger space. The narrow nature of the
aisles tends to promote efficient circulation patters that created vista corridors,
where a number of vendors could be seen at once alongside the public activity.
Connection to the Outdoors
Though not exclusively, market mangers believed a visual or physical connection
to the outdoors enhances the overall market experience. This connection could be
realized in the form of an open arcade, or through the use of large sliding
industrial windows or garage doors that could be opened in warm weather or
during busy market days. The market operators need to consider the expectations
of its customers as well as the expectations of the vendors to avoid conflicts over
Second Floor / Mezzanine Space
Resoundingly market managers with second floor, mezzanine or below ground-
floor space (as with the Pike Place Market) believed it was far inferior to ground
floors space, especially for the core function of the market. It is not that this
space couldn’t be leased, but rather it was noted that achievable rents were far
lower, and that many businesses struggled and that there was high turnover. This
was especially observed in the Lonsdale Quay and Westminster Quay markets.
Exceptions to this were destination restaurants, pubs and office uses. It should be
noted that the Pike Place Market has also been struggling with its lower level
merchants, and several years ago considered converting the lowest level of the
market to office space.
Consistently all market managers listed ample or convenient parking as critical to the
success of a market. Market mangers went on to note that parking is important because
the majority of shoppers who truly do their “grocery” shopping vs. customers looking for
little more than a snack or a cup of coffee, tended to come by car rather than walk or take
public transport. Managers felt most customers do not want the added burden of hand
carrying all their purchased goods home. Parking is also important to capture market
customers coming from greater distances than the typical one or two mile trade area.
Proximity and ease of access to any supplied parking was also noted. Parking located
more than two blocks away was seen as disadvantageous, while surface parking spaces
located adjacent to or in front of a market was seen as a must, (even if it was far
The Scott Group 33 05/24/05
insufficient to meet demand), because of the public’s perception of the availability of free
or convenient short-term parking is equal to or more important than the parking reality.
However, there was little agreement between market mangers as to what parking count
would suffice as “ample” parking. Managers usually communicated that an adequate
amount of parking was more than they presently had available.
It is also informative to look at ratios used by national and regional retail shopping
centers to determine their parking counts. As noted in the Dollars and Cents of Shopping
Centers 2002 produced by the Urban Land Institute the standard ratio used today for
smaller shopping centers is 4 to 5 stalls per 1000 square feet of gross shopping area.
However because public markets attract higher volumes of people seeking the experience
of visiting the market, this ratio may need to be pushed to the upper end.
Section X: Pre Development Strategies (Building
There are a number of actions that a jurisdiction can take that can help create a playing
field where the development of a public market becomes more likely to occur. Some of
these actions are helpful moving the concept forward in its very early stages and others
are aimed at making such an initiative more economically practical and/or attractive to
private investors nearer to the point where the market would be built.
Over the last 20 years the initial support for most new public markets came from their
local jurisdictions. One of the best methods to not only generate interest and
understanding of what a market can do but also to build support for a public market is to
carry out a series of progressively more focused feasibility studies. The City of Portland
Oregon has commissioned 3 such studies. The first was to generally determine if there
was demand for a public market and narrow down a list of possible sites. The second
study looked more closely at a specific market program and at a few select sites. The
third study, currently under way, is cost estimating a specific program on a specific site.
This effort by the City of Portland has sustained the Portland Public Market initiative at a
low cost, having obtained almost $500,000 in federal grant monies.
Build Public & Political Support
The vast majority of public markets found around the nation have been, in the beginning,
the result of a public investment. The form of this investment comes in many shapes and
sizes but has often been a combination of a gift of real estate and a lump some of money
to start the market off as free of debt as possible. This form of investment typically
requires a level of political and public support commensurate with the size of the gift. In
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many communities, building this support is not a great effort but often requires the
municipality to expend resources building awareness of the effort as well as educating the
general public and business community as to the specific benefits a public market brings.
This awareness-building is often done by supporting basic feasibility studies, establishing
a public committee or task force of likely stakeholders to shepherd the effort and by
working with local business and other possible stakeholders to generate grass roots
Designate a Site
Public and private energies are often further mobilized when a specific site is chosen,
allowing the public to more easily envision what the market could be and then mobilizing
efforts around the site. This focusing effect is often magnified if the project is associated
with some historic structure that the community wants to preserve. The City of Boston
invited the US Department of Agriculture to tour its potential public market sites, in order
to garner further public support and validation for its planned public market. The end
result was Fanueil Hall. The Pike Place Market came about as a result of a genuine threat
that it would be torn down in an urban revitalization project. Instead a popular initiative
was successfully advanced to save the “historic” market and surrounding buildings.
Given the desire for a public market to become an economic engine for the area which
surrounds a market, it is important to insure that the permitted land uses are flexible
enough to promote this goal. Generally zoning which allows retail, office, light industrial
and housing is preferred, but examples of heavy industrial uses adjacent to markets exist.
The Granville Island Market is adjacent to both a cement factory as well as a maritime
center which does boat repairs.
Maximize Public Grants and Other Subsidies
There are a number of grants available for public markets. Many come in the form of
state or federal matching grants where a city will be matched based on the “value” they
are contributing. Thus, when structuring any land or public monies given to a market, the
manner of the transfer and timing should be considered. Other grants work to support
programs that can take place in or be part of a market. In this realm a jurisdiction should
consider if any existing or desired programs can be incorporated into the market’s larger
operation and assist in directing outside money towards the markets overall budget.
Section XI: Attracting Private Interest (Ownership)
In an era of tight budgets many jurisdictions seek creative methods of mobilizing private
dollars towards public or publicly-oriented projects. Because of this public/private joint
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ventures have become more common in recent years. However, it is often difficult to
induce private equity to join such efforts in the beginning. Jurisdictions must often offer
private equity incentives or terms that reduce the risk of such a venture by lowing the
costs of entry, protecting returns and place limits on their liability. There are a number of
methods that can be used. These methods range from tax incentives to methods of
There are a number of incentives open to a jurisdiction to attract the attention of private
investment towards development in general and a public market specifically. They are:
• Tax Credits/Grants: Jurisdictions can direct tax credits or outright grants
towards a project
• Impact Fees: A jurisdiction may reduce or remove impact fees a public market
project would otherwise have to pay.
• Infrastructure Costs: A jurisdiction can bear some or all of the public right of
way infrastructure costs (such as sidewalks or street improvements) or publicly
used space costs (such as public plazas or restrooms) associated with the public
• Area Wide Tax Incentives for New Investment: Reducing property or business
taxes in the area directly surround the public market facility will assist in the
momentum created by the market itself in attracting investments and jobs
• Parking: Many jurisdictions build parking facilities from time to time to help the
overall access to parking in urban cores. If such a facility is directed in close
proximity to the public market and any land use requirements for parking
triggered by the market is lowered or removed, this lowers the burden on the
market project to provide costly parking spaces.
• Streamlined Permitting Process: Having a commitment from a jurisdiction that
a project will have a clear and streamlined permitting timeline helps to mitigate
the perception of risk and is attractive to development interests.
Property Disposition Techniques
A combination of the following techniques below and the incentives described above
could be used to incentivise a developer to advance development of a public market or
greater market district on property that is currently controlled by a jurisdiction. As
mentioned above, the entity developing a market can be a private for-profit, private non-
profit, quasi-governmental or governmental agency.
A jurisdiction can provide incentive to a public market developer through its
participation in various types and levels of “effective” participation in a joint
venture. Joint ventures are similar to partnerships however they are often
undertaken by entities having fewer common objectives and/or little mutual
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association and less relationship otherwise. Several forms of joint venture are
• Land Contributions & Profit Sharing: A jurisdiction may contribute land
for some negotiated price into the development as its equity and then share
in the cash flow and/or future profits. The City could receive a preferred
return on cash flows until the original equity investment is retired.
• Subordinated Mortgage: A jurisdiction can agree to participate in a joint
venture through a subordinated mortgage, where the City agrees to loan in
second position to a market bank. This adds an extra layer of protection
for the commercial bank guaranteeing them payment from market
revenues before the City gets payment. The return on investment for the
City could be in the form of interest and a percentage of cash flows and/or
residual value at sale.
• Loan Guarantees: To incentivise an initial private debt lender, (which
once on board attracts other lenders) to participate in the financing of a
construction loan or permanent loan, a jurisdiction can agree to guarantee
a percentage of the loan amount, for example, the jurisdiction or agency
could agree that in the event the Public Market was unable to perform in
servicing its loan obligation, the Jurisdiction or agency agrees to be
responsible for 25% of amounts due.
A jurisdiction can offer the future right to purchase a specified property at a given
price to a market developer. This may be the parcel the market hall is on or
adjacent parcels that become part of a greater market district or both. This can
incentivise the developer on several layers: 1) Possession or title to a parcel of
land is often not needed until the point at which demolition and or construction is
going to take place, 2) Allowing the developer to close on the land only when it is
actually needed avoids the high carrying costs associated with owning the land,
(and carrying mortgage costs), while still designing, permitting and funding the
market structure. Such an option can be applied to the parcel the market is to be
placed on as well as on adjacent properties (contingent on the market being built)
that would be part and parcel of a wider market district. The benefit of such an
arrangement for the developer is that they capture some of the increase in value
the creation has on adjacent property and the benefit to the jurisdiction is they
attract the private investment required to build such a market in the first place.
This would offset the inherent risk the developer faces in participating in the
development of a public market.
Long-Term Ground Leases
A long-term land lease offers a method of lowering the upfront costs of creating a
market. Typical land acquisition costs are 10% to 20% of a development’s
overall cost. Utilizing a ground lease can the lower the hurdle of front-end costs
The Scott Group 37 05/24/05
for a market developer. Further there is no real tax implication, since in an actual
acquisition the developer gets a tax right off for interest on the mortgage
associated with the land purchase, and in a land lease the developer gets a
business expense right off associated with the lease costs (which are considered
an operating cost).
Ground Leases with Option to Purchase
By including an option to purchase the property at the end of the leasehold (for a
specified amount), the above described options and long-term ground lease can be
combined to provide higher potential profit incentives and additional flexibility
for financing. This could help in inducing a market developer to undertake the
risks associated with developing a public market.
A jurisdiction can offer possession of the property to a development entity and
retain title to the property, and the contract terms can vary depending on that
jurisdiction’s goals and requirements. One example would be to draft Terms of
Transfer based upon payment of a specified loan amount (with or without a
payment schedule) that decreases for ever year the market is in continual
operation. The point is that if the jurisdiction holds title and transfers the property
at a discount at some later date associated with the successful construction and
operation of a market this lowers the barriers for a private development entity (the
front-end costs are lower and adds flexibility in seeking financing from private
Section XII: Funding Sources
During the research phase and in discussions with stakeholders, The Scott Group
collected information on the various public grants and funding sources that were used by
the municipalities in their efforts to build a public market. The funding strategies and
public funding sources varied and show a great deal of creativity. In addition, TSG
researched federal, state and county grant sources as well as noting those sources
identified in previous studies provided by the city. The intent was to bring to light the
variety of sources that are potentially available when Tacoma proceeds with its effort to
build a public Market.
Municipal Funding Sources
Looking at various efforts carried out regionally to fund public markets, municipalities
have shown a great deal of creativity. Each market effort we investigated had to bring
together a number of municipal funding sources. Some of the larger and more obvious of
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• City Bonds: (either independent or associated with other larger initiatives, i.e., a
parks initiative or other capital projects.) In lieu of councilmanic bonds, cities
have folded the financing for market structures into larger capital projects bonds.
• Tax Increment Financing: (Portland) The state of Oregon allows municipalities
to borrow funds based on the anticipated increase in value created by new
development. This allowed the City of Portland to invest in streetscape
improvements and infrastructure in the Pearl District. Portland will be using TIFs
to finance a major portion of their public market.
• Real Estate Excise Funds: (Bellingham) The city of Bellingham allocates a
portion of its RE excise taxes, (paid during site acquisitions), for development and
However, several municipalities also looked at how they could legitimately direct
existing budget monies towards their efforts. They looked to existing line items and
channeled those funds to the same goals but within the market project. Several examples
were the directing of funds for:
• Public Restrooms: (were built in the market)
• Parks Department Open Space: (the market plaza was considered open space)
• Street Improvement Funds: (the curb and sidewalks around the market were
• Public Parking: (the project’s parking was built as a multiuse public parking
• Public Utilities: ( electric, water and sewer infrastructure was built out on the
• Building and Land Use Fees: (waive permit/inspection fees)
County/State Funding Sources
Only two state or county funding sources were located. The availability and conditions
of these funds vary and are handed out on a competitive basis.
• County General Funds: (County) The Pierce County Council may allocate
general county funds towards a public market project. This would however
require a clear showing that the project would benefit the whole county and not
just the City of Tacoma.
• Economic Development Block Grants: (can be State, County or City). These
grants are available from the federal government, and in many cases monies are
appropriated at the state, county and city levels. The grants are available for
projects that help community development, or that serve lower income residents.
To access these funds, the Tacoma Public Market would first go through the City
of Tacoma for its CDBG funds, and it could qualify for county or additional funds
if it serves a larger region.
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Federal Funding Sources
There are a number of federal grant sources coming from various federal agencies. The
future climate for these grants is uncertain due to of federal budget issues but Congress
recently voted to continue the Community Block Grant funding. These grants include, but
are not limited to, the following:
• USDA Food Projects Grant, Marketing Services Grant: These grants are
offered for projects marketing and promoting the use of agricultural land and
• HUD Economic Development Initiative Grants: Similar to Block Grants
• Community Economic Development Discretionary Grants: are the basis for
the Economic Development Block Grants as described above.
• Save Our Treasures (Historic Building) Grants: are available for buildings of
historic or community significance. The Portland Public Market will be built
using these grants. Locally, Albers Mill qualified for these grants, while the
Maritime Center (Puget Sound Freight Building) was recently denied.
• Capital Programs Fund Grant: These grants are typically administered at the
county or municipal level. Whatcom County provided $214,000 towards
Bellingham’s Depot Market Square. This program is administered by the City of
Non-profit/Community Development Funding Sources
Additional funding can be acquired through a very limited number of non-profit
financing organizations. Efforts that provide community benefit such as housing,
business development, agricultural program, nutrition programming, skills training and
the arts can be targeted for such funding. If a market incorporates these types of
activities into its programming it might qualify for some level of grant money.
Opportunity Fund Loans
There are also non-profits that specialize in non-recourse loans to public oriented
efforts. These grants support feasibility studies, capacity building efforts, project
programming, bridge loans, and construction.
• Capacity Grants can help hire a consultant whose skills and experience
match an organization' needs, providing for: development of a strategic
business plan; building a Board of Directors; financial management
analysis; assisting in identifying and interviewing consultants, creating
work plans, and managing consultant contracts.
• Phase I Predevelopment Loans: non-recourse loans (otherwise known as
"risk capital") covering costs such as earnest money for site control;
preliminary architectural or engineering studies; hazardous materials
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surveys; and other activities necessary to determine project feasibility;
prepare applications for other project funding.
• Phase II Predevelopment Loans: for projects that have completed initial
feasibility work, have secured at least one permanent financing
commitment, and need interim financing to continue moving forward until
the final pieces of public/private funding are assembled. These funds will
generally cover costs associated with continued site control, completing
architectural and engineering plans, loan fees, and professional fees. In
most cases, these loans will repay Phase I Predevelopment loans and
ideally will be leveraged with organizational contributions and other grant
• Subdebt Acquisition Bridge Loans: These secured loans were created to
assist nonprofits in purchasing land and buildings. If the appraised value
of the land exceeds debt, these loans may repay the Phase I and II
Predevelopment Loans. Typically acquisition loans will be made in
conjunction with, and subordinate to, a private lender.
• Commercial Tenant Improvement Loans: These secured loans are
designed to assist the nonprofit in building out commercial spaces. A
signed lease is required prior to disbursement of a loan.
(Funding Sources: A Regional Case Studies Chart follows.)
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Funding Sources: Regional Case Studies Chart
Grant/Moneys Used Locally? Notes
USDA : Ag. Marketing Services Portland Market: $70k
HUD EDI (Economic Dev. Portland Market: $100k For preliminary Design
Interiors Dept (Save our Portland Market: $300k Relates to renovation of Historic Building
USDA: Community Food $300k maximum per project. Competitive,
Projects Grant matching funds ground (until 2007) Total
Community Economic Dev. $700k maximum per project. Must be 501(c)3
Discretionary Grant entity. Must help low-income community,
provide 60 sustainable jobs. Affordable
Housing component a plus
Enterprise Community Grants Amount varies
Capital Programs Fund Grant Bellingham Market: $450k
Whatcom County Econ. Dev. Bellingham Market: $214k
Real Estate Excise Funds Bellingham Market : $836k
Street Funds Bellingham Market : $300k Curb, sidewalk, parking surface improvements
Wastewater Funds Bellingham Market: $150k Public Restroom Component
OTHER SOURCES USED
Private Sector Fundraising Bellingham Market: $550k Private sector fundraising should be
anticipated and shepherded by a task force.
Olympia Parks & Rec. Bond Olympia Market: $600,000
Urban Renewal Grants (1970’s) Pike Place Market Not available today
Granville Market: $25M
New Market Tax Credits
Tax Increment Financing Portland Public Market Commonly used by Portland Development
Impact Capital of Seattle Expressed interest in potentially providing a
non-profit early funding resources and/or
technical assistance for a Tacoma Public
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Section XIII: Operational Budget Overview
In developing a stabilized operational budget for a public market The Scott Group looked
at the operating budgets from a number of regional markets as well as referring to
operational budgets models developed by the Urban Land Institute and Project for Public
Spaces, Inc. in their publication Public Markets and Community Revitalization. The
Urban Land Institute’s Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers 2002 also provided costs
for the operation of regional grocery stores as a point of reference and check.
It should be noted that the operational budget developed below is not only a stabilized
budget (as if the market had been up and running for more than a year) but it is an
idealized budget, and it not based on the operation of a public market tied to a specific
site. Rather, it is assumes a specified number of vendors, an income based off those
vendors and expenses gauged to a market hall that is correctly sized for that number of
vendors. Income projections are based off a theoretical vendor group and likely gross
sales of those vendors. Expense levels are again informed by the operation budgets of the
regional markets interviewed and the budgets developed by PPS and ULI.
The purpose of developing an operation budget is to derive a net operating income and a
market’s ability to carry debt and cover capital development costs. When looking at the
budget one would prudently anticipate an operating deficit during the initial start-up
period. These can be anticipated to be, generally, one (1) to three (3) years. A far-sighted
capital budget might anticipate an initial operating shortfall and incorporate reserves to
support shortfall operations until break-even is achieved.
Appropriate Facility Type for Tacoma – A Market Hall
As noted in the Public Goals and Benefits section (Section III) and the Public Market
Program section (Section IX) of this study, the City has a number of goals for pursuing a
public market. However, the foremost of the City’s stated objectives is to attract
additional economic development and amenities to its growing downtown core. As
sections III and IX noted, to truly serve as a grocery or fresh food amenity, a public
market would need to operate nearly seven days a week and year round. This consistent
level of operations helps markets attract additional retail and tourists, and helps to
develop a hub for a market district.
Permanent market hall structures typically house year round operations. A successful
market hall would satisfy the City’s objectives more readily than a market shed. A market
shed more typically is a program structure chosen for less intensive, more seasonal use by
a farmers market. However, the nearby Olympia Farmers Market, serving an adjacent
population of roughly a quarter the size of Tacoma, is highly successful as a market shed
designed exclusively for a farmers market. Though it has grown quickly, and now
operates 4 days a week for 9 months with gross sales of $3,700,000 annually, it still does
not operate in the winter months. This is a result of the vendors’ seasonal nature and the
level of services, infrastructure and security needed by vendors that operate year round
out of permanent stalls.
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The Market Analysis section of this study further explains in detail how this study
assumes market demand for a market hall program currently exists in Tacoma.
Tacoma’s Program: General Size, Vendor Mix & Parking
Vendor Mix for Tacoma
The Project for Public Spaces and the Urban Land Institute’s Public Markets and
Community Revitalization offers a basis for constructing an operating proforma
for a typical 15,300 net rentable sf market hall from a broader national analysis.
This study’s interviews of regional market operators affirm this basis. Factoring
differentiating variables such as site, structure type, management plan, vendor
mix and days/months of operation, we have assumed a public market hall model
that parallels the national model’s assumptions. However, we have adjusted this
model for a somewhat less intensive, more conservative approach appropriate to
The Tacoma model as proposed conservatively assumes lower revenue for stalls,
less staffing and roughly equal operating expenses (less the staffing reduction)
than the PPS/ULI model. Accordingly, the quantity of vendors has been reduced
from the PPS/ULI model with 33 vendors to 25 vendors for the Tacoma model.
For example, the optimal number of three bakery vendors was reduced to two,
with each bakery occupying less space than in the PPS/ULI model. However, the
overall vender mix has been retained. This vendor mix is outlined in Section IX:
Public Market Program of this report. The importance of this mix was validated
in our interviews and observations at the regional markets visited for this study.
Overall Size of Market
A conservative approach is proposed in making the assumption that a market hall
should initially begin smaller and eventually grow to its full potential. The overall
gross size and net rentable area are assumed to be the “critical mass” necessary
for creating a viable consumer attraction (event) as well as the minimum rents
required to support operating expense projections. To fit those parameters, this
study proposes a Tacoma market hall size of roughly 19,000 gross sf, with
roughly 9,500 net rentable sf of vendor area. This assumes capturing roughly
$4.5 million gross sales of an available $18 million in the Tacoma Public
Market’s model’s target market that is available according to the Market Analysis
section of this report. The specific sites proposed in this study provide for growth
of the market hall itself and potential for growth into a market district. Each of the
potential market sites would benefit from adjacent underutilized or low intensity
uses or adjacent low intensity uses.
The sites selected in this study also assume off-site or nearby street parking,
supporting the proposed market hall model’s operating assumptions. Assuming a
parking ratio at the high end of the scale for retail operations of 5 per 1000 sf of
The Scott Group 44 05/24/05
gross retail space would create a demand for approximately 100 stalls. Please see
Section IX: Public Market Program, of this report for a more detailed discussion.
Operational Budget Comparisons (Regional/National)
Assumptions (Vendor Gross Sales)
The operating budgets that were acquired from the regional market directors did
not provide analysis of gross sales or net profits of independent (private) market
vendors or other market tenants. Rather, they noted total gross rents collected and
rental rates. The vendor gross sales numbers used, as a basis for calculating
Tacoma Public Market operational income, have been extrapolated from the
PPS/ULI market hall model as well as the data collected from the interviews with
the eight regional market operators and supported by the Section IV: Market
Analysis section of this report.
Explanation of Operational Budget Comparisons Chart
Below is a chart providing a comparative look at some of the Puget Sound
region’s differing market typologies, (sheds, halls and districts). Recent or
proposed operating budgets are contrasted and compared in this analysis against a
typical (national) market hall’s operating budget offered by the PPS/ULI. This
comparison is helpful in understanding the range of intensity of operations as they
relate to types of markets as well as differentiations and similarities between
various market revenue and expense line items. Finally, because market operators
do not utilize standard formatted budget proforma, the task of comparing
operating budgets is not a simple or easy task. There is a certain amount of
untangling inherent “apples and oranges” dilemmas to make “apples with apples”
comparisons of line items.
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Notes on Individual Market Budgets
1. Bellingham’s Depot Market Square: The operational budget of Depot Market
Square is distinguishable from other local markets in that the shed was fully
funded by the city and the farmers market is charged no rent on the space. This
“low rent” decision by the City was gauged to maintain the lowest possible rent
structure for its Farmers Market vendors. This relates to underlying objectives of
the City of Bellingham.
2. The Olympia Farmers Market The Olympia Market shed is built on land owned
by the Port of Olympia and leased to the City. The City built the shed (using
councilmanic bonds) and subleases the shed site to the Olympia Farmers Market
at a rate that will repay the bonds and rent. These line items could also be
measured against other market budgets’ costs of land and improvements or
characterized, comparatively, against other market’s original capitalization. For
comparative reasons of this analysis we’ve held these expense line items below
the N.O.I. line item. They are $32,000 for repayment of City Bonds, $32,000 rent
to the Port and $9,000 in related leasehold tax costs.
The Olympia Farmers Market has been highly successful and operated at a
significantly higher intensity than the typical farmers market in a market “shed”
structure. From a financial perspective, the Olympia Farmers Market could be
described as “shed operations on steroids” or a shed hybrid that operates as a
market hall. While the market hall operating assumptions described above are
more intensive than Olympia’s shed operations, after adjusting days of operations,
Olympia’s operating budget more closely parallels a market hall than might be
expected. Its proximity to Tacoma is also relevant in considering the area’s
inherent acceptance and demand for public market venues.
3. The PPS/ULI Typical Market Hall The PPS/ULI typical (national) market hall
operations incorporate 15,300 sf of net leasable vendor space and proposes 33
vendors with an average stall size of 464 sf. The largest vendors are bakery, meat
and produce vendors, and the smallest are day tables. The mix of vendors includes
two to four of each of the following vendor types: bakery; cheese; coffee/tea;
eggs/dairy; flowers; meat; poultry; seafood; day table; and six prepared food
vendors. Vendor gross sales are estimated at $7,000,000 annually. Vendor rents
charged averages 6.34% of vendor gross sales with the lowest rent representing
4% and highest representing 9% of any specific vendor’s gross sales. The average
market rent charged to vendors is roughly $13,000 annually ($1,080/monthly) and
the total annual vendor rents are roughly $432,000 or $31.40 sf over net leasable
area. These revenues also incorporate assumptions that Common Area Charges
(CAM) included are roughly $100,000 and there is $108,000 or a 20% annual
vacancy loss for revenues. These operations assume operations 12 months per
year 25 days per month.
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4. The Seattle Pike Place Market Our research revealed Seattle’s that Pike Place
Market is not only a regional centerpiece, but it is widely recognized and often
cited nationally for various aspects of its success. Its operating budget proforma
incorporates revenues and expenses relating to a larger market district. Its budget
format incorporates interdepartmental operations of running numerous city blocks
containing commercial office and retail, residential and parking.
Conceptual Operational Budget – Tacoma Market Hall
This study proposes 25 permanent vendors. Similar to the PPS/ULI model, the
largest vendor spaces are assumed to be meat and produce and the smallest are
day tables. The mix of vendors includes one to three of each of the following
vendor types: bakery; cheese; coffee/tea; eggs/dairy; flowers; meat; poultry;
seafood; day table; and six prepared food vendors. (Please see the conceptual
Vendor Mix Plan below). This study proposes vendors with an average stall size
of 382 sf.
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CONCEPTUAL VENDOR MIX
TACOMA PUBLIC MARKET
Assumes roughly 15,000 Gross SF w/o adjacent retail
Rent as Rent
% Yearly per
Vendor Type SF Sales Sales Rent SF
1 Bakery 350 $150,000 6.00% $9,000 $25.71
2 Bakery 350 $150,000 6.00% $9,000 $25.71
3 Cheese/Wine 500 $225,000 8.00% $18,000 $36.00
4 Cheese/Wine 300 $135,000 8.00% $10,800 $36.00
5 Coffee/Tea 300 $150,000 8.00% $12,000 $40.00
6 Coffee/Tea 300 $150,000 8.00% $12,000 $40.00
7 Eggs/Dairy 300 $125,000 6.00% $7,500 $25.00
8 Flowers 200 $100,000 7.50% $7,500 $37.50
9 Flowers 400 $200,000 7.50% $15,000 $37.50
10 Meat 1 400 $180,000 4.50% $8,100 $20.25
11 Meat 2 750 $300,000 4.50% $13,500 $18.00
12 Poultry 300 $125,000 4.50% $5,625 $18.75
13 Poultry 300 $125,000 4.50% $5,625 $18.75
14 Prepared Food 1 300 $225,000 9.00% $20,250 $67.50
15 Prepared Food 2 300 $225,000 9.00% $20,250 $67.50
16 Prepared Food 3 300 $225,000 9.00% $20,250 $67.50
17 Prepared Food 4 300 $225,000 9.00% $20,250 $67.50
18 Prepared Food 5 100 $75,000 9.00% $6,750 $67.50
19 Produce 1 600 $250,000 5.50% $13,750 $22.92
20 Produce 2 600 $200,000 5.50% $11,000 $18.33
21 Produce 3 600 $200,000 5.50% $11,000 $18.33
22 Seafood 1 700 $350,000 4.50% $15,750 $22.50
23 Seafood 2 600 $300,000 4.50% $13,500 $22.50
24 Day Table 1 200 $50,000 6.00% $3,000 $15.00
25 Day Table 2 200 $50,000 6.00% $3,000 $15.00
Total 9,550 $4,490,000 $292,400
Average 382 6.62% $34.05
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The model’s operations assume operations 12 months per year 25 days per month.
This study does not incorporate inflationary escalation between the time the
PPS/ULI generated its rent assumptions and the time a Tacoma Public Market
would be activated.
Rent structure (Base, Percentage, CAM)
Vendor gross sales are estimated at roughly $4,500,000. Given that the Olympia
farmers market is located in a city approximately one fourth the size of Tacoma,
operates seasonally 4 days per week and achieves gross sales of roughly
$3,700,000, the authors of this study propose the conceptual gross sales as shown
in the Tacoma model are a conservatively estimated assumption. Vendor rents
average 6.62% of these estimated gross sales, with the lowest rent representing
4.5% and highest representing 9% of any specific vendor’s gross sales. A
structure of “base rent plus percentage of sales” might also be utilized by an
operator that arrives at equivalent gross rental amount.
Additionally, the model assumes common area maintenance (CAM) assessments
that total $100K, averaging $333/month per permanent vendor. The amount to the
vendor could be reduced if CAM expenses are amortized by additional tenants or
offset by ancillary income sources. As a contingency, CAM charges to vendors
have not been reduced from the PPS/ULI market hall model. While some
elements associated with typical CAM charges might be reduced in a model that
assumes less net square footage of vendor area, the majority of factors behind the
typical sum for CAM charges do not directly correlate with floor area. For
example, CAM inclusions typically allocate to vendors all reasonable expenses
required to manage, operate and maintain a facility.
These costs are often influenced by some basis other than “per square foot,” so
there may in fact be little or no difference in total CAM costs between a market
with 9,500 nsf and a market with 15,000 nsf. Expenses such staffing, advertising,
legal and professional services, insurance, etc, do not directly correlate on a
square foot, pro-rata basis.
The model proposed does not assume ancillary income. However, additional
income is typically generated by additionally assessing vendors for dry and cold
storage space use. This space is typically required and made available by market
operators for an additional rental amount that this study scope has not undertaken.
An entrepreneurial operator could also provide a range of other administrative /
office services and conveniences that might be utilized by permanent vendors and
farmers market vendors.
Farmers Market Income
It is this study’s conclusion that the existing farmers market annual revenues will
significantly improve through its co-location with a full-time Tacoma Public
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Market. It assumes the farmers market pays a $20,000 annual rental fee for use of
an outdoor set-up space directly adjacent the Public Market. While this amount is
slightly more than it is accustomed to paying, the authors of this study assume this
amount as an appropriate placeholder amount.
• Size: The Tacoma farmers market currently consists of roughly 100
• Rent structure: The structure of the farmers market rent could be a
percentage of sales, a flat fee or some combination of both according to
market operator and farmers market negotiation. The authors have
assumed a placeholder for total rent approximating $20,000 annually.
This study does not initially anticipate parking revenues being generated being by
the public market itself.
This study conservatively assumes roughly $80,000 or 20% vacancy loss which is
consistent with the Urban Land Institute’s model.
The study’s authors have elected to hold most expenses consistent with the Urban
Land Institute’s assumptions with the exception of staffing.
• Staffing: The Tacoma model assumes a primary management position at a
slightly higher cost and without an assistant manager but with added
clerical expense. The Tacoma model also initially assumes a reduced
security personnel cost of $10,000 (vs. $35,000 in the Urban Land
Institute model) until rationale presents itself otherwise.
Net Operating Income (NOI)
The net operating income (NOI) represents operational income less expenses and
is assumed to be between $30,000 and $40,000.
Ability to Carry Debt Burden
The assumptions herein assume a hall structure that has been refurbished or developed
with hard costs ranging roughly $750,000 to $1,800,000. The Tacoma Market’s initial
ability to carry debt is limited in the Tacoma model presented. It should be mentioned
again that most Public Markets operators are typically non-profit or quasi-governmental.
Public markets are normally perceived as a public good. Viewed as such they are
typically capitalized and established through resources of municipalities.
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CONCEPTUAL MARKET HALL BUDGET
TACOMA PUBLIC MARKET
Farmers Market $20,000
Vendor Stalls $292,400
Total Daystall Rents $312,400
Community Market Baskets
Retail & Office Related
Tacoma Market Foundation
Common Area Charges (CAM) $100,000
Vacancy Loss ($82,480)
Total Income $329,920
Clerical Support $20,000
Total Personnel Related $139,000
Advertising / Events $40,000
Office expenses $20,000
Legal / Professional $10,000
Fees / Permits $2,000
Supplies / Equip $20,000
Total Expenses $291,000
Net Operating Income $38,920
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Section XIV: Site Analysis and Selection
As part of this report, a site analysis was conducted to evaluate potential locations for a
public market for Tacoma. It was agreed after discussions with the City that the site
selection would be limited to the downtown core, in an area that would be bordered by I-
5 to the south, D-Street to the east, Yakima Avenue to the west and Sixth Avenue to the
north. It was also agreed to limit the number of sites to 15. The parameters for
consideration of initial sites included:
• Location in downtown core or Foss Waterway
• Vacant and/or developable land (including renovation of existing buildings)
• Larger parcels (30,000 sf +)
• Central location
• Adjacent development potential
• Access to freeways
• Access to transit (Light Rail)
• City-owned parcels
• Foss Waterway Development Authority-owned parcels
• Privately owned parcels
After selection of the initial 15 sites, The Scott Group then developed evaluation criteria
for site selection. The criteria was established based on a combination of previous public
market reports, as well as input from interviews with 8 regional public and farmers
markets (These interviews are located in the Appendix). These criteria were placed in a
site matrix format and after individual sites were evaluated on a level from 1 to 4 (1=
poor, 4=excellent), while some items were assigned a “Yes” or “No” where appropriate.
It is important to note that a larger number of sites could potentially house a public
market, and this report was structured to objectively evaluate the initial selected
properties only, and to narrow the field to 4 sites. These recommendations, however, do
not preclude the owners of individual properties, or sponsors of a farmers or public
markets from promoting alternate sites. This exercise is merely an attempt to help the
City of Tacoma take a critical look at sites that would have a more probable and positive
economic impact as a location for the Tacoma Public Market.
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1. UWT Warehouse: The University of Washington owns a 40,800 sf
warehouse on the SW corner of S.19th & Market Street. The total lot is
approximately 80,000 sf.
2. UWT Campus/Street: There are a number of undeveloped lots in the planned
UWT campus area, as well as the potential closure of Market Street. Long
term plan is to fully develop these, but there will be open space and plazas.
3. Post Office Bldg: The main Post Office, at the SW corner of 11th & A Streets,
features a 27,000 sf floor plate. The long term use of the building is uncertain,
and speculation is that a mixed-use development will eventually go there.
4. Haub Brothers Property: The Haub Brothers Trust owns a number of
properties located between S.12th & S.14th and bordered by Pacific Avenue
and A Street. For the sake of this study, we considered the lot bordering
Pacific Ave and Court A, located between 12th & 14th Streets and immediately
west of the Post Office parking lot. The eventual plan for these sites will be
high density mixed-use (office, retail, etc), so it was assumed that a public
market would not fit this program.
5. 15th & Broadway: The City of Tacoma owns the large, multi-leveled surface
parking lot located immediately south of the Sheraton and immediately north
of the Convention Center, bounded by Market Street, Broadway Plaza and S.
15th. The site, which encompasses upwards of 85,000 sf, contains numerous
easements and restrictions on it, in order to provide parking/access for the
6. Park Plaza North Garage: This city-owned structure is located at 923
Commerce Street and is adjacent to the downtown/Pierce Transit hub. The
building contains a cluster of ground floor retail (owned by separate
investors), and was the first choice for a public market location by a previous
city-sponsored public market site analysis.
7. Bamford/Petrich Site: These two sites are located at the base of the Murray
Morgan Bridge on the east side of the Foss Waterway. The Bamford site,
owned by Kathryn Bamford and located north of the bridge and bordered by
D Street to the east, is approximately 43,000 sf. The Petrich site, owned by
Claire Petrich, is located directly south of the bridge, is bordered by D Street
to the east and is approximately 103,500 sf. When combined with the city-
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owned right of way underneath the bridge, the combined properties
encompass a site of approximately 200,000 sf, or approximately 4.5 acres.
8. Johnny’s Seafood/Colonial Produce: These sites are located on the 1100
block of E. Dock Street, ion the west side of the Foss Waterway. Johnny’s
Seafood is owned by the City and is approximately 39,000 sf, while the
adjacent Colonial Produce site is approx. 37,000. Combined the sites are
greater than 78,000 sf. The warehouse on the colonial site is approximately
28,000 sf, while the Johnny’s Building is approximately 10,500 sf. The
additional property to the north would increase the total potential site to over
9. Municipal Dock/Site 9: Located on the west side of the Foss Waterway and
directly north of the Murray Morgan Bridge, the Municipal Dock site is
61,800 sf, while “Site 9,” which is located just south of the bridge, is 36,000
sf. When combined with the RPW underneath the bridge, the potential
site/hub encompasses approximately 106,000 sf, or close to 2.5 acres.
10. City Marina: This site, owned by FWDA, includes city-owned right of way
on D Street (used for parking). The marina site is approximately 28,000 sf ,
and includes two 2-story office building/storage sheds with a total floor plate
of 11,000 sf. The uplands site is 50ft wide at its widest, and the additional
ROW adds 34 feet. The total site with the north end “triangle” of ROW is
approximately 940 ft long. The site is the home of the mosquito fleet, and
there are covenants on the property to provide storage for the fishing nets,
which are currently stored on the ground floors of the shed/office structures
11. Police Station Site: The former City-owned “Police Station Site” contains
approximately 277,016 sf 6.35 acres and is located at S. 21st St & Jefferson,
between the Brewery District and the emerging Upper Tacoma neighborhood.
The site spans three streets, and is largely vacant land.
12. Streets and Grounds: The Streets & Grounds complex of sites, all City-
owned includes three key parcels: 1) the 27,000, 300’ long “Maintenance
Shop” at 23rd & C Street, 2) a 45,000 sf. warehouse, located between Holgate
& Hood Streets, and 3) the current maintenance yard, a 675 foot long parcel
on Jefferson between S. 23rd & S. 25th and containing 68,000 sf of space.
Combined, these parcels total 126,333 sf of land (2.9 acres), and 72,626 of
existing building spaces.
13. Freighthouse Square/Pierce Transit Plaza: This group of sites includes that
portion of Freighthouse Square west of the Sounder station/hall, which bisects
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the complex. Currently that portion is largely vacant and is 19,000 gross
square feet, not including upstairs mezzanine space. This grouping also
considers the 14,000 sf plaza on the south side of the Tacoma Dome
Station/Parking Gage, and the 22,700 sf “Pierce Transit Shed”.
14. LeMay Museum: The LeMay Car Museum will be located on 10 acres, west
of the Tacoma Dome and bordering D Street to the east. The museum may
include a mixed-use or commercial component.
15. Tacoma Dome: The Tacoma Dome is planning a bond-financed
remodel/expansion. For the purpose of this study, the possibility of a market
on indoor or outdoor space was considered.
Site Matrix & Definitions
The Scott Group developed a site matrix to assist in analyzing sites for their
appropriateness in housing a public market. A number of factors were considered in the
matrix. The matrix was useful in outlining and tracking those site characteristics
beneficial to successfully operating a market. There is not, however, one single grouping
of traits that insures a successful market. There are a number of characteristics that
contribute to a market’s success. Sites are strong in some areas and weaker in others;
some are excellent from a parking perspective but poor from a neighborhood character
perspective. Other sites are waterfront properties but the property owner is disinclined to
have a public market built on the site.
Public Agency Owned
If a piece of property is already owned by a public agency or the City of Tacoma
the land could be contributed towards a public market effort, eliminating land
costs from the overall development cost calculation. This is important to the
extent that most Public Markets operations do not support heavy debt from their
original capitalization. Lower debt burdens allow markets to support rent
structures that are affordable to low-volume/narrow-margin vendors that are
initially typical at public markets. Further, the contribution of such property is an
appropriate disposition of a publicly owned parcel because of the direct benefits
public markets bring to the general populace as well as the economic development
benefits they engender.
A public market is a commercial retail enterprise and any zoning that allows such
activity is compatible with an effort to build a public market. However, markets
are often mixed-use enterprises with elements of office, light industrial uses and
housing interspersed with the retailing activities. Thus, the more flexible the
zoning the greater number of solution options that can be crafted to fit the
particular needs of Tacoma.
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Though public and farmers markets tend to draw from a regional population, they
are also developed to serve the growing residential populations of city centers.
Though most market customers tend to arrive by car, residents of adjacent
neighborhoods will walk to a public market. Thus, markets can benefit from
locating close to higher density neighborhoods and growing urban centers.
Currently downtown Tacoma has a daytime workforce population of over 30,000.
Due to the realities of carrying grocery bags and the need for refrigeration, office
workers tend not to purchase much fresh food during the workday on a regular
basis, even if a public market is conveniently located nearby. However, during the
lunch hour they do frequent food court vendors and restaurants.
The City of Tacoma offers a number of incentives for new development in the
downtown core, some of which are through downtown’s federally recognized
“Renewal Community” status. For residential projects, there is a10-year tax
abatement. For commercial development, the city offers a CRD program
whereby an accelerated depreciation for up to $10M of a project’s value can be
deducted over 5 or 10 years, allowing for substantial tax relief. This is offered
throughout the downtown core. In addition the City offers business and ownership
incentives such as:
• RC Wage Credits (employees that live within a designated area)
• No Capital Gains (space must be owner occupied for five years)
These and other incentives are subject to a competition and/or timelines. The City
of Tacoma’s Tax Program Technician would work with the Public Market
developers to maximize available incentives.
Owner Expressed Interest
During the course of interviewing local property owners a number actively
expressed an interest in having their property considered as a home for a public
market. The benefits of a willing property owner are many, from streamlining the
process of site acquisition, land lease or partnership structure, to ensuring a timely
Retail operators prefer sites that are highly visible from heavily-used
transportation corridors, or that are in close proximity to a known or easily
identifiable landmark. This strategy works by keeping the facility in the mind of
the consumer as they pass the property. This strategy also helps by providing an
easy to find location for those who may be unfamiliar with the area or with the
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Convenient freeway access is important in that it allows a public market to more
easily capture customers from greater distances than the typical 1 to 2 mile ring.
It also opens up the market to such customer generators as tour bus companies
and other visitors that are just briefly passing through a city.
Parking is critical to any retail venture and public markets are no exception. This
is not only an issue of ease of access but its critical to promoting actual
purchasing. Retail customers are unwilling to purchase goods if taking them
home is inconvenient. This means that convenient and ample parking will be
important in the minds of the majority of the market’s customers. Many studies
have shown that parking needs to be located within several hundred feet and that
graded elevations, if too steep, become a problem.
Though arriving in an automobile is the preferred method for customers of a
public market, public transit is also an important option, especially in cities that
have developed rapid transit systems. Public markets are also populated by
customers who visit the market more for the experience than for the opportunity
to do daily or weekly shopping. This type of customer comes by car but they also
come by public transit, since they are not planning to carry a large amount of
purchased goods. Like parking, the proximity of transit, the topography and
distance between the market and the transit stop effect the value of the
Factors such as pre-existing aesthetic character due to construction typology of
industrial districts, turn of the century masonry, etc. can contribute to the overall
market experience. Other neighborhood character factors include the overall
pedestrian experience, which varies depending on existing uses such as water-
related activity, concentrations of “artnic" shops and creative businesses, and
those tenant’s typically unique or “funky” aesthetic alteration of community
Potential Market Hall
Markets around the country can be found operating from historic buildings where
they began at the beginning of the 20th Century, to brand new shed pavilions such
as Pioneer Park Pavilion built last year in Puyallup. For both character and cost
effectiveness, however, an adaptable structure that can be used as a market hall
can save costs, time and help to generate a clearer concept or vision to garner
public support for a new market. This may particularly apply for structures that
are well-known or that have historic value.
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A simple adage says that people like to be around people, and so does retail.
Hence, a site that is located where pedestrian activity already exists would benefit
the retail activity located in a public market. This, however, must be balanced
against the separate goal of using a market to generate economic activity in
struggling or transitional areas as well the reality that the higher the level of
pedestrian activity the higher the site acquisition cost tends to become (the land or
structures become more costly).
Urban waterfronts around the world are a tremendous draw for people, as they
provide respite from the noisy bustle of concrete city environs. Locally, the
waterfront also provides a connection to the culture of the Pacific Northwest, both
historic and modern. In the context of a public market it also provides a
connection to one primary food attracting customers to a market: seafood. While
it is difficult to locate an urban market next to active farmland one can locate a
public market adjacent to an urban waterway. For the interviews conducted during
this feasibility study, the directors of waterfront markets acknowledged how the
location alone was a strong draw for people.
Views provide another strong attractor and amenity for people. Views of nature,
downtown skylines, territorial or unique architectural features are all to be
considered. For downtown Tacoma this could include views of Mount Rainier,
the Foss Waterway, the tideflats, the downtown skyline, bridges and
Commencement Bay. Sites that have access to a unique view amenity can
leverage this view as an attraction as well as incorporate its use in promotional
and advertising materials. An example of this is the familiar “Public Market” sign
at the Pike Place Market, which is frequently photographed with its background
views of the Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay.
It is beneficial to any venture that depends on a high level of traffic (as retail
does) to have other attractions nearby. Not only does this allow ease of access for
visitors between attractions, but it allows each of these attractions to benefit from
the unique success, identity and additional customer base of the other.
Since the mid 1970’s when the modern movement to preserve or restart public
market began in the United States many cities have used them to promote
development in struggling or emerging urban neighborhoods. This is because
successful public markets not only attract large numbers of people to areas they
might not otherwise go, but they also tend to incubate and attract other creative
and entrepreneurial businesses. This ongoing momentum in turn continues to
attract additional retailers, developers and prospective residents, all lured to the
area by the perceived “hipness” of the market and its surrounding district...
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Serve Growing Downtown Population
Public markets serve as a general grocery amenity for the areas in which they are
located. Currently downtown Tacoma is served by only one grocery store, the
Stadium Thriftway. Though it is one of the nicer groceries in Tacoma, it is
situated outside the downtown core, leaving new downtown residents with few
convenient options. A public market would not only serve to bring a new grocery
option to the Tacoma area, but it would also be sited in a location to better
serving the growing downtown population.
Site for Farmers Market
Tacoma currently has a successful farmers market. Most public markets work
cooperatively with and provide space for local farmers market. Though they
provide competition for the permanent public market tenants, farmers market
vendors are seen as essential in providing a link to the local agricultural
community, and they tend to add a more authentic local flavor to the public
market. This relationship is often realized by the public market providing the
local farmers market space in the form of day tables or plaza space where the
farmers market can set up one, two or more days a week during the growing
season. This typically requires a site have space beyond that required for the
permanent market hall building. This space can be in the form of a street, parking
lot, plaza, park, etc.
Market District Potential
Public markets tend to attract creative young entrepreneurial businesses as well as
developers of commercial and housing projects into the adjacent area surrounding
a public market. This happens more easily when the area surrounding the
market’s location is appropriately suited for such redevelopment; underutilized
improvements and land is typically more affordable to buy or lease for
redevelopment, while areas that are highly developed in their current use are less
likely to maximize such development opportunity. This item includes
consideration of a district’s zoning and parking potential, which is also important
to realizing development potential of a market district.
Below is the Site Matrix, which categorizes and evaluates the 15 potential sites for the
Tacoma Public Market. The top row includes 21 designated Site Evaluation Criteria and
on the left hand side are the 15 sites. For each site, the Site Evaluation Criteria are
measured on a scale from “1”, (meaning poor or N/A), to “4”, (meaning excellent), or,
otherwise “Yes” or “No” where appropriate.
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TACOMA PUBLIC MARKET STUDY
Compatible Adjacent Zoning
Serve Regional Population
Serve Growing Dwtn. Pop.
Owner Expressed Interest
Market District Potential
Site for Farmers Market
Public Agency Owned
Potential Market Hall
SITE CONDITIONS ACCESS PLACE GOALS
1 Univ of Wa – Warehouse Bld (Temp) Y Y 3 3 Y 2 3 3 3 2 2 Y 2 N 3 2 2 3 3 3 1
2 UW- Campus/Market St (Temp ) Y Y 3 3 Y 2 2 3 3 2 2 N 2 N 2 3 2 3 3 3 1
3 Post Office Y Y 3 4 Y * 3 4 4 3 2 Y 3 N 2 3 1 3 4 1 1
4 Haub Brother Properties N Y 3 4 Y 1 3 4 3 3 2 N 3 N 3 3 2 4 4 1 1
5 15th & Broadway (City) Y Y 3 4 Y 1 3 3 4 3 2 N 3 N 2 3 2 4 3 2 1
6 Municipal Garage (City) Y Y 3 4 Y 2 2 3 4 4 2 Y 3 N 1 3 1 4 4 2 1
THEA FOSS WATERWAY
7 Bamford/Petrich Property N Y 1 3 Y 4 4 2 1 3 3 Y 1 Y 4 2 4 3 3 4 4
8 Johnny's Seafood (City) / Colonial Y Y 2 2 Y 3 3 2 1 3 3 Y 2 Y 4 3 3 3 3 4 3
9 Muni Dock / Site 9 (FWDA) Y Y 2 3 Y 3 3 2 1 3 3 Y 2 Y 4 2 3 3 3 3 3
10 City Marina (FWDA) Y Y 1 2 Y 1 4 2 1 3 3 Y 1 Y 4 1 1 2 3 2 2
11 Police Station (City) Y Y 3 3 Y 3 3 3 2 3 2 N 1 N 3 2 2 3 3 4 4
12 Streets and Grounds (City) Y Y 3 3 Y 4 3 3 3 3 3 Y 2 N 2 3 4 3 4 4 4
13 Freight Hs Sq./Pierce Transit Shed N Y 2 3 Y 4 4 4 4 4 2 Y 3 N 2 4 4 3 4 4 4
14 Le May Museum Site N Y 2 2 Y 1 4 4 3 4 2 Y 2 N 3 4 1 2 4 4 2
15 Tacoma Dome (City) Y Y 2 2 Y 1 4 4 3 4 2 N 2 N 3 4 1 2 4 3 2
Key: Y= Yes N=No 1=Poor, N/A 2=Fair 3=Good
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Top Four Recommended Sites
The following are potential development scenarios for the four top recommended sites.
The summaries identify initial opportunities and constraints as well as the multiple
components that could make up a public market or market district.
Note on Parking Count:
For these four recommended sites, existing parking spaces were counted, including
streets and/or right of ways immediately adjacent to these properties. For instances where
there was open space or vacant land on site, potential surface parking spaces were
calculated at 1 stall per 375 sf. Additional parking could be provided in structured
parking located within adjacent mixed-use development.
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Site 1: Streets and Grounds Sites (Brewery District)
3. STREETS & GROUNDS
Concept: Mixed-use Market District, potential for artists live/work, adaptive reuse of brewery/warehouse area.
Zoning: Warehouse Residential, 100'height (Commercial, Residential, Industrial)
Primary Sites Dimensions (approx) Potential Component/Use
1. Former Maintenance Shop Property: 21,000 sf, (1 acre) Central Market Hall, Office/Mixed Use
S. 23rd & Holgate St. Building Area: 30,000 sf (on 2 Stories) s
Farmer' Market Plaza
Hard surface adjacent plaza 6,200 sf.
2. Maintenance Shop Property: 15,333 sf (.35 acre) Additional market uses (west side)
23rd & C St. Building: 27,626 sf (2-storey) Mixed use on 2nd level and east side
3. S&G Yard Property: 68,000 sf. (1.56 acre) Parking (open lot, then future structured)
Mixed Use (housing, commercial, retail)
4. Form. Police Station Site Property: 277,016 sf (6.36 acres) Future Mixed-use or master-planned
S. 21st & Jefferson development (UW, housing, etc)
Holgate Street (abutting FMS) 15 spaces
Maintenance Shop (street, angled) 24 spaces
Jefferson St. (east side, abutting) 30 spaces
S & G Yard (surface parking) 190 spaces
Total: 259 spaces
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• City owned property identified for disposition
• Ready immediately for mobilization of market hall development
• Existing structures have historic/industrial character
• Existing structure has excellent air and light, power and other infrastructure
• Potential catalyst for development in heart of Brewery District
• Adjacent warehouse structures available for potential mixed-use development
• Site would serve growing residential community on hillside, downtown
• Potential to improve appeal for city-owned “Police Station” site (located kitty-
corner to the north west)
• Housing development potential (affordable or market rate)
• Compatible zoning could encourage industrial artists and creative business in
• Potential for a larger market district close to UWT.
• Limited outdoor plaza for Farmers Market (perhaps temporary street closure)
• Some of Streets & Grounds operations must be relocated (cost). Note: this is
currently being explored by the City of Tacoma regardless of market’s location.
• Visibility: Prominent lighted rooftop signage would likely be necessary to
increase site visibility from I-5, 705 and Pacific Avenue.
The development of a public market district at the Streets and Grounds sites represents an
opportunity to initiate development in the Brewery District. Physically, the existing
structures and location on the urban grid bear a similarity to the Pike Place Market, hence
there is good potential for a larger mixed-use market district. The existing zoning,
Warehouse Industrial, allows for a variety of uses, including industrial and live/work or
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artists and/or creative businesses, which tend to be attracted to public markets (eg. Pike
Place Market, Granville Island Market.)
The initial program would focus on 3 areas and potentially eventually a later 4th area:
• Former Maintenance Shop (23rd & Holgate) for the Market Hall w/ additional
• Plaza in front of Maintenance Shop (on 23rd), with 6,700 sf for a farmers market.
• S&G Maintenance Yard (23rd & Jefferson) for surface parking, vendor uses
• Potentially eventual growth into the former “horse barn” now occupied by S&G.
Central Market Hall
The 45,000 square foot vacant warehouse (Former Maintenance Shop) at 23rd & Holgate
would function as the Public Market Hall. The industrial character of this three story
concrete structure would provide a strong and appropriate identity for a public market in
this location. There is opportunity to incorporate entrances on multiple levels and have
three sides of the market structure open onto the street fronts. A successful Public Market
Hall in this location would act to energize adjacent properties on two sides. The main
market level could eventually include up to 15,000 net sf of vendor space, depending on
demand for expansion. The upper and lower levels of the structure could also support
market rate or non-profit uses, such as educational components or a business incubator
The 6,700 sf of space in front of the warehouse could be reinvented as a “farmers market
plaza.” Additional space could be utilized for farmers market vendors as needed,
including portions of the Maintenance Shop across C Street, or through the temporary
closures of Holgate or Hood Streets (similar to the proposal for the Tacoma Farmers
Market to close 25th Street in front of Freighthouse Square on Tuesday evenings).
Parking and Transit Access:
The current S&G Yard seems a logical place for surface parking. The site could
accommodate up to 190 parking spaces. When this site is eventually developed, a parking
replacement agreement could be put into place (similar to the City of Tacoma’s
arrangement with the developers of the Marquart Building and adjacent parking lot.
The Link Light rail station is three blocks away.)
Ownership for Leveraging:
This scenario is unique in that the City of Tacoma currently owns the three primary sites.
The City’s primary focus could be on directing resources toward the establishment of the
public market hall itself in the former maintenance shop. Meanwhile, the City would
have options regarding how to best proceed with inducing development of adjacent sites
through land options, long-term ground leasing, a lease to sell, and participating
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otherwise in a joint venture effort to assemble the surrounding components of a larger
market district. The City’s proactive sponsorship of a public market hall and district on
this site could leverage both public and private for-profit and non-profit resources.
Opportunities on Adjacent Sites
For the City of Tacoma, the development of a public market district at the Streets and
Grounds site could be a strategic way to improve/leverage the value of the 6.5 acre Police
Station site, which is located just to the northwest of the Streets & Grounds complex on
Jefferson. It also represents an opportunity to initiate a unique mixed-use neighborhood
within the surrounding Brewery District.
The zoning allows uses from industrial and residential to retail and commercial. Given
the nature of the surrounding buildings, (warehouses, brewery, storage uses), this could
be a zone for “urban pioneer” uses such as artist live/work studios, creative commercial
businesses and a mixture of both affordable and market rate housing.
This may be a timely opportunity for the City to strategically consider the site’s
development potential and the timing of the site’s disposition.
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Site 2: Freighthouse Square (Dome District)
1. FREIGHTHOUSE SQUARE/DOME DISTRICT
Concept: Centrally Located, Transit-oriented Market. Comparable Lonsdale Quay
(North Vancouver BC)
Zoning: UCX-TD: Urban Center Mixed Use, 75' Height (120' with housing).
Primary Sites Dimensions (approx) Potential Component/Use
1. Freighthouse Square x380'
main level: 19,000 gsf (50' ) Main Market Hall (13,000 sf net?)
( west of Sounder lobby) 2nd level: 5,400 nsf of office, 1,700 sf mezz. Dry Storage/Offices/Incubator
3. Pierce Transit Plaza Approx. 14,000 sf. s
2. Pierce County Shed x75'
Property: 22,700 sf (130' ) Mixed Use, affordable housing
Shed: 14,400 sf (120' ) extended "market" retail.
4. Corner (?) Bldg. (D&25th) x125'
16,250 sf (130' ) Mixed-Use: Housing, additional
5. FHS Parking Lot x75'
22,500 sf (300' ) Parking, Mixed-use.
(west of FHS)
6. Puyallup Site
(26th between G & D streets) x130), 1.7 acres
74,100 sf (570' Mixed Use, Housing, Parking?
Sound Transit Garage* 200 spaces *2000 spaces may be available weekends.
FHS Parking lot 60 spaces
Total: 260 spaces
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• Build on existing “Market Hall” structure” Freighthouse Square
• Multiple developable lots
• Adjacent to large public parking structure
• Located at Rail, Bus, Transit Terminus
• Program existing outdoor plaza (Tacoma Dome Station)
• High Visibility (from Freeway, location of Tacoma Dome, future LeMay
• Future infrastructure (D Street Overpass, Foss Waterway Park)
• FS owner interested in participating
• Tacoma Farmers Market testing site this spring
• Farther from the downtown/residential core
• Not perceived as desirable for high end development at this time
• Public perception or stigma of Freighthouse Square as marginal/dated attraction
The development of a public market district in the Dome District represents an
opportunity to reinvigorate the Freighthouse Square neighborhood with a new program
and focus, and to take advantage of ample parking and a location that’s both highly
visible and accessible from a regional level.
The initial program would focus on two primary sites:
• Freighthouse Square (Public Market Hall): western 300’ of structure
• Pierce Transit Plaza (Farmers Market)
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Reinventing Freighthouse Square:
This scenario envisions that the approximate 300’ long portion of Freighthouse Square
west of the Sounder station/lobby would be remodeled and “re-branded” as the Tacoma
Public Market. This portion, which is largely vacant today, features a total of 19,000 gsf,
which would result in a core market structure that could potentially accommodate 13,000
net square feet. Initially, however, the market could start out at a more modest size (9,000
sf) which could hold 25-30 market vendors. Existing upstairs office space could be
retained as market and other offices use, as well as potentially provide non-profit uses,
such as business incubator and agriculture/culinary educational programs. This second
floor space, which includes a mezzanine, could also be used as dry storage for the
Similar to the “open air” program followed by new and existing regional public markets,
a renovation would add a number of window openings into the side walls of the market
to the outside (E. 25th Street & Sounder platform), allowing an “indoor/outdoor” feel to
the market and vendor stalls with a connection to the street. Please see images for this
concept in the 2003 Downtown Retail Strategy Report by Maestri Design Inc. Flower
and fruit vendors would frame the main entrances of the market, while fish, meat, bakers
and dairy vendors would fill the core. The emphasis would be on fresh and specialty
foods and ingredients, since the food court at Freighthouse Square currently functions
well as a fast-food destination, and we anticipate that it would remain so under this
Transit Access and Public Markets
Throughout the research phases of this market study, The Scott Group solicited feedback
from market managers, developers and tenants of both public markets and farmers
markets. Though transit access was deemed important by some, most interviewees cited
that convenient and ample parking was more important. The director of Granville Island
market (Vancouver BC) acknowledged that even though Vancouver is an extremely
dense and walk-able city, most of their customers and visitors came by car, particularly
because of the function of carrying groceries.
Though the Dome District/Freighthouse Square is well served by public transit, it is The
Scott Group’s belief that most of the patrons of the market would come by car, and that
transit (Link Rail) use would be used primarily as it is now: for office workers to grab
lunch at the Freighthouse Square food court and eventually for non-buying visitors
seeking the market’s experience. In this respect, the parking spaces at the Sound Transit
garage would be an important component. However, there are two positive transit factors
that should be noted:
1. Sounder Ridership: It is estimated that Sounder ridership will triple when up to
6 additional trains are implemented over the next 2 years. This amount could
increase evening and morning business for market merchants.
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2. Future Development: Future development throughout downtown may be heavily
concentrated at or near the Link rail stations. For those transit riders, a Public
Market at Freighthouse Square would be no more than 8 minutes away via rail.
Ownership: Who would run the market?
In discussions with the owners of Freighthouse Square, they are very interested and
amenable to a scenario for a public market. They have planned on a similar proposal
(market), but acknowledge that the managing of FS has been a challenge (public
perception) and this project would require a substantial amount of capital. The owners
would also be amenable to a public-private endeavor, and would also consider the
benefits of a long-term lease to a non-profit or for-profit entity that could manage the
redevelopment of that portion of Freighthouse Square. The owners would also be
interested in an outright sale of that portion.
Tacoma Farmers Market’s Location of Choice:
The Tacoma Farmer’s Market (TFM) has identified the Dome District as their area of
choice for expansion, primarily because of its access, visibility and plentiful parking. In
addition, the outdoor plaza, when combined with the proposal to close a portion of 25th
Avenue, will provide ample space for the Farmers Market. The TFM also identified the
Pierce Transit Shed (across the street on 25th and adjacent to Pierce Transit Plaza) as a
potential interim site, until a final or more permanent location is found. TFM started a
Tuesday evening market at the Pierce Transit Plaza in April, 2005.
Opportunities on Adjacent Sites:
The Dome District also presents an opportunity to attract additional economic
development. There are several sites in the immediate vicinity that stand to benefit from
the successes of a public market, combined with increased transit ridership. Sites to the
north, west and south of Freighthouse Square all fall within the Tacoma Dome Mixed-
Use District, which allows for mixed-use structures of up to 100’. Future development,
such as the Tacoma Dome remodel and the new LeMay Museum, as well as planned
infrastructure such as the D Street overpass and proposed Foss Waterway Park (3 blocks
away), will add to the momentum and potential of this multipurpose district
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Site 3: Petrich/Bamford Property/East Side of Foss
2. PETRICH/BAMFORD PROPERTY
Concept: Waterfront "World Market" with import, arts and maritime uses. Comparable
Granville Island (Vancouver BC)
Zoning: S-8, Foss Waterway, 100'Height, Mixed-Use (Commercial, Residential, Industrial)
Primary Sites Dimensions (approx) Potential Component/Use
1. Bamford Property Property: 43,125 sf), 1 acre
Shed: 19,000 gsf (320' ) Market Hall/Crafts Market
2. Petrich Property x230'
Property: 103,500 sf (450' ) Market Hall in Shed
Shed: 15,085 nsf (total bldg is 30,745 nsf) Additional vendors in adjacent low-rise
Other bldgs: 17,713 nsf structure
Total Bldgs: 48,458 nsf
3. ROW Under Bridge Property: approx. 54,460 sf. Surface Parking (145spaces @ 375sf ea)
(gross area 67,500 sf, less 13,040 for bridge Connecting uses, plaza & vendors
4. Wattles Property (Port) Approximately 17 acres of uplands Marine-oriented, light industrial,
educational, research (Urban Waters,
Bates Boat Building, Sea Scouts, Industrial
City ROW (under bridge) 145 spaces
Bamford Site (surface, existing) 36 spaces
Petrich Site (surface, existing) 57 spaces
Total: 238 spaces
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Petrich structure’s interior above
Bamford structure’s exterior below
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Bamford structure’s interior above
• Two existing structures that could function as Market Halls
• Build off of existing/new “Tideflat Traders” (world market goods), and specialty
merchants that have opened in the last few years (DockMandu, Island Life,
BamBam Pottery, very small garlic vendor, etc.)
• Existing structures could retain marine-oriented feel and artistic uses (Boat
building, Dragon Boats, other sheds).
• Introduce Mixed “Light Industrial” uses to complement both the market and
industrial setting (artist studios or industrial “live-work”)
• Uses could complement a planned Urban Waters campus
• Access will improve substantially with D Street overpass
• Highly visible location across from downtown and adjacent to Murray Morgan
Bridge, which also provides easy auto access from downtown.
• Build on a model that’s similar to Vancouver’s Granville Island.
• Create a “funky” market district and an attraction that is “uniquely Tacoma”
• Both property owners are very interested in the concept
• Planned streetscape/access improvements to Murray Morgan Bridge
• Plenty of open space for Farmer’s Market.
• S-8 zoning and adjacent lots are compatible.
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• Physical separation from downtown core and growing residential area
• Currently not an established destination
• Not served well by transit
• Neighborhood concern over non-industrial uses on east side
• No guarantee on timeline for D Street overpass or the Bridge remodel.
• Zoning and/or linear nature of waterway may limit opportunity for market as
economic development catalyst
The development of a public market district on the Petrich/Bamford properties on the east
side of the Foss represents an opportunity to create a market that incorporates Tacoma’s
unique maritime heritage. With boat building and the center for the dragon boats, this
waterfront hub could have a unique character and mix of uses, using many of the existing
metal and wood buildings as a campus for the market. The fishing fleet might participate
with direct seafood sales from boats.
The initial program could focus on three primary sites:
• Petrich Property: includes a potential 15,000 sf market hall
• Bamford Property: includes a potential 12,000 sf market/crafts hall.
• Right of Way below Murray Morgan Bridge: provides over 50,000 sf for parking,
open space for vendors (to connect both sites).
Building on the success of the Tideflat Traders:
The east side of the Foss Waterway is becoming a center for unique craft and import
stores, similar to new businesses that have opened up on First and Fourth Avenue South
in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. Craft and import merchants such as DockMandu,
BamBam Pottery and Island Life are creating a unique shopping opportunity in a very
unique setting. When we discussed the market concept with some of the merchants, they
believed that it would be great to have an additional draw to bring visitors to their shops
(interestingly, many of the local stakeholders that we interviewed for this study were not
aware of the location and density of shops that are located to the east side of the Foss
Waterway). The Tideflat Traders benefit from the plentiful parking and room for outdoor
displays. These “world market” vendors can rather easily be envisioned as an existing
component priming larger public market district.
A Marine-Oriented Market:
This location presents an opportunity to preserve marine-oriented uses, such as the boat-
building business and the dragon boats. As the core of the market would be food-
oriented, the unique marine-oriented businesses and working waterfront tenants would
lend a feel of authenticity to the market. There may also be opportunities for boats of the
Mosquito Fleet to sell seafood “right off the boat,” similar to what is done at Seattle’s
Fisherman’s Terminal. This mix of uses would be similar to Vancouver’s Granville
Island where there are industrial uses and a designated “maritime district.”
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The addition of Urban Waters would also be a strong draw to attract other potential
marine-or industrial related uses that would complement the market, such as industrial
arts studios and lofts. In addition, the development of Urban Waters could prove a draw
for other education-oriented tenants, such as boat-building (Bates Technical College),
metal smiths/sculptors and/or culinary/agricultural programs. The number of odd
buildings and potential for upgrades and additions could result in a truly unique attraction
and a business incubator for the City of Tacoma in much the same way Granville Island
is for Vancouver B.C.
Addressing Community Concerns over Non-water dependent uses.
It is important to note that the S-8 zone allows all of the proposed uses, and allows a
substantial amount of flexibility for programming and/or master planning such an effort.
Though recent concerns have arisen over proposed non-water or non-industrial uses on
the east side of the Foss, it is important to note that there are already many new
businesses, such as the Tideflat Traders, that are neither industrial nor water-dependant.
The idea is that a public market in this district would build on the Foss Waterway’s
unique buildings and maritime history, but would also offer opportunities for today’s
businesses. It is not anticipated that additional heavy industrial uses will proliferate on the
Foss Waterway, especially given the amount of vacant land that is available for this use
on the east side of D Street.
However, with respect to the concerns over new uses on the east side of the Foss
Waterway, it should be noted that this concept is not one that envisions Class A office
space or high end housing. Rather, it represents an opportunity to provide a unique
amenity and tremendous potential business incubator in an area where zoning currently
supports that mix of uses. Since there is a proposed zoning amendment to the east side of
the Foss Waterway that could allow non-water dependent big box retailers (which is what
happened when Fred Meyer located on 10 acres in Seattle’s Fremont waterfront), The
Scott Group feels that a mixed-use waterfront market concept would be preferable and
compatible with existing and proposed land uses in the immediate vicinity.
Opportunities on Adjacent Sites:
As implied in the above sections, though possible, it is not anticipated that uses such as
Class A office space or high-end housing would be attracted to a market in this
neighborhood. Rather, commercial/industrial and marine-oriented uses are envisioned.
The Port of Tacoma’s acquisition of the 17-acre Wattles Property could provide
opportunities for a multitude of marine-oriented uses, a similar program to the Port of
Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal. Educational and maritime opportunities, such as Urban
Waters could anchor the neighborhood’s commercial orientation, while at the same time
providing opportunities for complementary mixed-uses to add to the vitality and
economic viability of the overall district.
Ownership: Who would run the market?
Both owners have expressed interest in for allowing a market hall on an existing
structure, however the owner’s participation may likely be limited to a land lease or sale
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scenario. In this case management and development of the market structure would be
provided by a third party entity. The City of Tacoma could also choose to participate as a
sponsor or “lessee” of the initial market hall structure, similar to the arrangement of the
Olympia Farmers Market.
Tacoma Farmers Market: A test location?:
In discussions with the property owners, Claire Petrich and Kathryn Bamford, The Scott
Group discussed the possibility of providing a “trial location” for the Tacoma Farmers
Market, as way to gauge the public’s response to the location. They agreed it would be a
boon for the existing import merchants, and perhaps a several month summer trial run
would be feasible. However, since then the Tacoma Farmers Market has disclosed that
the Tacoma Dome District will be the site for their Tuesday evening market, and at this
time there are no plans for additional nights.
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Site 4: Colonial Produce/Johnny’s Seafood (Foss Waterway)
4. COLONIAL PRODUCE/JOHNNY' SEAFOOD S
Concept: Foss Waterway Public Market. Comparable Lonsdale Quay Public Market (South
Zoning: S-8, Foss Waterway, 130'Height, Mixed-Use (Commercial, Residential, Industrial)
Primary Sites Dimensions (approx) Potential Component/Use
1. Colonial Produce Total Property: 56,100 sf (1.29 acres)
1179 Dock Street Less Shorelands: 45,100 (1.04 acres) Parking, Mixed-Use
Warehouse: 27,792 gsf Market Hall/Mixed Use
2. Johnny' Seafood Property: 40,800 (.94 acres)
(City of Tacoma) Less Shorelands: 31,200 (.72 acres) Parking, Mixed-Use
1199 Dock Street s:
Johnny' 7,720 gsf Existing or additional vendors
4. Vacant Property Total Property: 30,600 sf (.7 acres)
1147 Dock Street Less Shorelands: 27,000 sf (.62 acres) Parking, Mixed-Use
Colonial Produce, Dock St. ROW 70 spaces
Johnny' Seafood, Dock St. ROW 35 spaces
Vacant North Property 72 spaces
Total: 177 spaces
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• Use development momentum currently underway at the south end of the Foss
• Existing warehouse could function as Market Hall
• Potential for adjacent high-density development (130’ zone)
• Would be convenient to new residents planned along Foss Waterway
• Plentiful open space for Farmers Market
• Build off of Johnny’s successful location.
• Adjacent to planned hotel and condo project
• Waterfronts are proven attractions for markets
• Has fewer surface parking spaces than other three preferred sites (Parking has
already been identified as a major concern for the west side of the Foss
• Owner of Colonial Site is not committed to a Public Market concept, as site is
currently for sale and may be relegated to “highest and best use.”
• Sites are very linear, so potential for a Market District may be limited to higher
density development immediately adjacent to these sites.
• Currently the Foss Waterway is not well served by transit
• The west side of the Foss Waterway is not easily accessed by region (I-5, 705)
• Currently not an established destination
• No guarantee on timeline for D Street overpass or the Bridge remodel.
A New Attraction for the Foss Waterway
The development of a public market on the site of Colonial Produce and/or Johnny’s
Seafood is an opportunity to create a new waterfront attraction on the South end of Foss
Waterway, which is close to the Museum of Glass and to the new boutique hotel planned
at Site 4. This location would serve the growing population on the west side of the Foss
Waterway, and would be centrally located, given the planned development that will occur
on the north end of the waterway.
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This site is also the long-standing home of Johnny’s Seafood, the most widely recognized
seafood vendor in the south sound region. Having Johnny’s as an adjacent and anchor
tenant is very desirable for the market mix, and this location would offer the least amount
of disruption to Johnny’s existing operations. The initial program could focus on two
• Colonial Produce: includes a potential 27,000 sf market hall
• Johnny’s Seafood: includes 7,700 sf City-owned Johnny’s Seafood.
The program would also consider the adjacent right of way off of Dock Street and the
15th Street ramp. The vacant site to the north should also be considered, for its current
and future potential for parking spaces, as well as high-density mixed-use development.
Opportunities on Adjacent Sites:
The adjacent sites are zoned for high density development, and it would be anticipated
that a public market at this location would attract higher end businesses, retail and
housing. The high-rise zoning (130’ feet) will likely result in market rate uses to warrant
the cost of construction at this intensity. Developing additional and/or replacement
parking will be an important element of this market as the adjacent sites are developed,
since there is little or no street parking.
Ownership: Who would run the market?
The owners of Colonial Produce and Johnny’s Seafood have expressed interest in the
market concept, however it is unlikely that they would manage and own a public market
per the specifications of this study. Recent discussions with the Foss Waterway
Development Authority, the owners of Johnny’s and Colonial Produce indicate that a
smaller market was discussed or envisioned at this site that would primarily serve the
Foss Waterway and the downtown core. However, the recommendations of this report are
for the development of a Regional Public Market that is centrally located in downtown
Tacoma and programmed with the initial critical mass of vendors necessary to serve the
Pierce County/South Sound region.
If interested in pursuing a public market venture, a possible scenario could be a joint
venture with the owners of Colonial Produce and a market development entity, with the
City participating in a joint venture or long term land lease if it is chooses to retain
ownership of the Johnny’s Seafood, and if that site is incorporated into the overall market
Farmers Market Site:
Currently there is plenty of open space that could be adapted for the Tacoma Farmers
Market, although that would most likely reduce the availability of surface parking. An
alternative could be to house a seasonal indoor/outdoor farmers market within the
Colonial warehouse, since the size (27,000 sf) may be initially too large to house the
permanent public market alone.
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Section XV: Development Models
The development process is a multi-disciplinary concern that incorporates the following:
market demand; site criteria and planning; design concepts; construction costs; ownership
and operating entities; financing structures and return on investment (whether monetary
or other). It is inherent in the earliest of initial development project models that many
assumptions are incorporated.
As a project’s development process advances, these unknowns and assumptions are
refined and eventually eliminated. The intent of this study has been to provide a starting
place for this process of refinement. The preliminary nature and scope of this study
however, assumes economic projections that are very conceptual in nature. Recognizing
the scope of this study began with no capital resources identified and more than a dozen
potential sites, the potential variables remain many. They include: land sales prices,
construction costs, potential City capital contributions and many more. These variables
ultimately determine capital costs and cash flow and a public market project’s overall
economic feasibility. The additional undertaking of refining the costs associated with the
recommended sites beyond a very conceptual estimate is reserved for a later study.
Participants in the Development Process
The role contributions and proficiencies required to develop and run a public market are
varied, broad and inherently different. They can include: an enabling landowner, a
developer entity; an operating or market management entity; oversight boards and/or
agency entities, task-force or advisory committee entities, etc. Successful regional
examples of public markets and market districts projects demonstrate that any of these
roles, or all of these roles, can be assumed by a single entity, but it is more typically a
collaborative effort of mutual interest.
The list of potential participants should include collaborative combinations of private for-
profit, private non-profit, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies. Our
observations are that agencies, such as the City of Tacoma, will advance an initiative to
institute a public market program that is customized to the political will, financial
resources and private interest participation that can be secured behind the initiative.
Cost Estimations Excluded from This Study
Land Costs Excluded Generally, most real estate acquisitions are financed with
the use of debt. Typically 70%, 80% or as much as 90% of cost can be acquired
with debt, (referred to as “financial leverage.”) Leasehold interests can require
very little front-end costs. Land acquisition costs or specific costs of a leasehold
interest in space for a market are highly site-specific and the economics of
individual parcels will vary. They are also often negotiated over time under
complex terms. A Seller’s or Leasor’s minimum price might be highly subjective
and/or subject to change, etc. The public market, as a Buyer or Lessee, will have a
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ceiling price supported and limited by its capital resources plus available
This study’s scope has been to narrow down a collection of 15 potential sites to
several prospect sites for consideration to advance upon. Determining specific
comparative land costs of those sites has not been part of the scope of this initial
study. The land costs to a market hall project might vary greatly depending upon
all terms negotiated with a site’s existing controlling interest. Whatever the case,
the actual land costs must be added to total development costs of a market project.
Tenant Improvement Costs Excluded The scope of this study has not included
generating conceptual design or performance specifications for tenant
improvements for vendor stalls as they might relate to, for example: security
features; provision of utilities; aesthetic amenity; etc. It does not consider
specialized equipment such as, for example: iconic public market signage; an
appropriate trash compactor if a trash compactor is appropriate; etc. As such, this
study does not offer costing estimations for tenant improvements that might exist
in a future Tacoma Public Market. However, it might be useful to recognize that
once a tenant improvement budget is determined (after appropriate design and
performance specifications are established for a Tacoma Public Market model), it
could be assumed these costs would be roughly similar for most proposed sites
and these costs must be applied to any project’s overall development costs.
Conceptual Hard Cost Estimates
The scope of this initial study does not include generating detailed and/or verified hard
cost estimates. Hard construction costs will vary depending upon characteristics of the
specific chosen site. Aspects such as hazardous materials abatement and structural
upgrades can substantively effect, perhaps even double, these costs. The costs proposed
herein are therefore highly conceptual in nature and represent a best guess using typical
$/sf estimates for renovation vs. new construction costs.
Conceptual Soft Costs Estimates
The scope of this initial study does not include generating detailed and/or verified
development soft cost estimating. Examples of development soft costs are:
• Consultants (technical assistance for feasibility, organizational, site control
negotiation, financing etc.)
• Legal (for title and acquisition docs review, creation of an entity, etc.)
• Design (architect, structural, mechanical, civil, etc.)
• Hazardous Materials
• Development Fee
• Financing Costs (loan fees, appraisal (?), etc.)
• Funding any operating reserve fund (ramp-up)
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The development soft costs utilized for purposes of this study are estimated to be 25% of
estimated hard construction costs. The business and development-related experience of
the study’s authors suggests utilizing a convention of 20% to 25% of hard costs proposed
to arrive at a reasonable estimated soft cost. The 25% convention represents this study’s
conservative best-guess place-holder in initially considering soft costs. Actual soft costs
will vary depending upon numerous characteristics and factors of the development
process. They will vary depending upon, for example: ownership structure; cost-incurring
requirements of funding sources; length and level of public process incorporated; etc.
Cost Estimates – Top Four Sites
The conceptual construction costs proposed are based upon substantive development
experience of the authors’ of this report. They were validated by a cursory tour of
selected sites by an architect, Jeff Oaklief of Johnson Architecture and Planning.
Johnson Architecture and Planning is an experienced Seattle-based firm with extensive
adaptive re-use (renovation) and new construction experience. The architect’s qualified
summary write-up for selected sites can be found in the appendix of this report.
The architect’s costs represent conceptual construction “hard costs” only. These hard
costs assumptions include demolition and build-out required to bring the space to an
appropriate market hall level (industrial shell) including necessary code required flooring,
electrical, plumbing, lighting, heating and permanent fixtures. These costs do not
represent specialty equipment that may be required or installed by vendors, furniture,
signage, etc. The conceptual construction hard costs on the top four selected sites are
estimated below. All are based of a 19,000 sf gross market shell.
1. Streets & Grounds Site: $950,000 based upon 19,000 sf @ $50/sf.
The existing structures are larger than this study’s proposed model of 19,000 that
could serve as a viable market hall and retail space. This site has previously
undergone hazardous materials abatement and needs little demolition. There is
pre-existing infrastructure including restroom area, offices, heating, window
openings, etc. The space is City-owned vacant and unused.
2. Freighthouse Square/Dome District Site: $760,000 based upon 19,000 sf
The architect’s conceptual cost assumption included, specifically, the area from
the Sounder commuter train entrance lobby area westward, including the
restaurant at the west end of the structure only. This area is adjacent to and does
NOT consider the existing food court area at Freighthouse Square. At the time of
this study the site area is currently in retail and office, but is largely vacant on the
main floor. The status of any lease is unknown to the authors of this study.
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3. Bamford/Petrich Site:
a. Bamford: $2,137,500 based upon 19,000 sf @ $90/sf.
This site’s existing shed structure is approximately the size of this study’s
proposed base model of 19,000 gsf, and could initially serve as a viable
market hall and other related uses. The structure’s immediate surroundings
appear likely to allow for attached or nearby addition. This site is currently
used by a manufacturing related tenant. The status of the lease is unknown
to the authors of this study.
b. Petrich: $1,140,000 based upon 19,000 sf @ $60/sf.
The existing structures comprise more space than this study’s proposed
model of 19,000 sf., and they could serve as a viable market hall plus
other related uses like retail. This site is currently in manufacturing use.
The status of any lease is unknown to the authors of this study.
4. Colonial Produce/Johnny’s Seafood: $N/A.
At the time of Johnson Architecture and Planning’s tour of sites this site had not
risen to become one of this study’s selected sites. It was not toured by the
architect and thus no validated conceptual cost estimation is available for
inclusion at the time of this writing.
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CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT COST SCENARIOS (EXCLUDING LAND AND TI’S)
ADAPTIVE RE-USE/REHAB OF EXISTING SHELL STRUCURE SCENARIOS
Assumed 25% Assumed
Construction Development Total Costs
Market Type Hard costs Soft Costs Gross SF $/Gross SF (less land & T.I.’s)
Freighthouse Square Site market hall $760,000 $190,000 19,000 $50 $950,000
Streets and Grounds Site market hall $950,000 $237,500 19,000 $63 $1,187,500
Clair Petrich Site market hall $1,140,000 $285,000 19,000 $75 $1,425,000
Kathy Bamford Site market hall $1,710,000 $427,500 19,000 $113 $2,137,500
Colonial / Johnny’s Site market hall NA NA 19,000 NA NA
Portland Public Market
(renovation portion) market hall $2,292,500 $573,125 28,000 $102 $2,865,625
AVERAGE $1,370,500 $342,625 $80 $1,713,125
NEW CONSTRUCTION SHELL STRUCTURE SCENARIOS
Construction Development Total Costs
Market Type Hard costs Soft Costs Gross SF $/Gross SF (less land & T.I.’s)
Puyallup Park Pavilion market shed $0 10,000 $200 $2,000,000
Market market shed $0 15,400 $182 $2,800,000
Olympia Farmers Market market shed $0 16,000 $47 $750,000
Portland Public Market
portion) market hall $2,812,500 $703,125 14,500 $242 $3,515,625
AVERAGE $168 $2,266,406
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New Construction vs. Adaptive Re-Use
The examples in the table above distinguish conceptual and built projects according
to the characteristic of being a market structure from new construction or being an
existing structure adaptively re-used for a market. The cost differences reflect the
anticipated differences between these two construction types. Clearly, the examples
suggest lower front-end capital requirements for the adaptive re-use scenarios
Determining the Gap
The project’s financing gap is the difference between the project’s uses of
financing and project’s sources of financing. A “backdoor” approach to feasibility
can begin to demonstrate how much a developer might spend for project costs as
information regarding some level of resources committed or potentially available
becomes clearer in the refinement process. See the calculations in the table
The Front Door Approach
A public market developer could use a front door Analysis. In this approach the
developer’s determines what can be built based on projected rents and private
capitol costs (cost of loan). This approach ignores the potential for securing
capital sources that may be available to a public market because of its particular
mission or role in a city.
The Back Door Approach
A public market developer could also use a backdoor approach where the
developer’s driving calculations consider not only the projected rents but
resources that can be secured other than future rents. These resources are secured
by the developer in trade for intangibles returned to their investors, such
“development catalyst”, “business incubator” or “downtown amenity.” These
intangibles would not only apply to public entities but private development
entities that might control enough surrounding property to risk “seed” investment
in order to position the balance of their property for higher value or development
Financing the Gap
The challenge of a project such as this is to identify the potential financing “gaps” after
grants, contributions and incentives, as well as potential shortcomings with regard to the
primary non-profit’s (the public market) ability or inability to service debt for a new
structure. After identifying the potential net operation income and the potential mortgage
that it could support, the next steps are to identify potential public or private funding
sources to fill in these gaps.
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The Net Operating Income & Debt Support
This model assumes a bare-bones scenario and does not assume the programming
of ancillary revenues, sub-letting opportunities, etc. that market stakeholders
could develop to carry additional debt. The net operating income from the
Tacoma model’s operations, like other markets, suggest a low cash flow, but
perhaps as much as $40,000 will be available annually ($3,300/ monthly) for
servicing debt. Assuming an interest rate of 6.5% to 7% amortized over 30 years
this cash flow represents a potential loan amount of roughly $500,000.
FINANCING GAP Conceptual in Conceptual in
New Adaptive Re-
Land costs ??? ???
Hard costs (see previous table average) NA $1,370,500
Soft costs (see previous table average) 25% NA $342,625
Tenant Improvement costs ??? ???
Loan (serviced debt) $500,000 $500,000
Municipal Contributions ??? ???
Stakeholder Capital (raised/contributed) ??? ???
Financing Gap $1,766,406 $1,213,125
Section XVI: Conclusions & Recommendations
Based on the examination of this initial feasibility study, it appears that the City of
Tacoma is well positioned and could very likely support a viable moderately-sized public
market hall in its downtown core. The study proposes a Tacoma Market Hall Model that
will serve both as a vital downtown anchor and a potential catalyst for additional mixed
use development. As evidenced by the interest and successes of both smaller and larger
cities many cities in the Pacific Northwest have already built or are currently planning or
coordinating their permanent market structures. A public market in downtown Tacoma
would serve as an amenity convenient to its immediate and larger target market area
containing over 740,000 residents.
This study proposes a Tacoma Public Market Model with vendor gross sales of roughly
$4.5 million from existing potential gross sales opportunity, (utilizing conservative
capture rates), in excess of $18 million. The study’s conclusions are based upon on detail
of local demographics, including population per capita expenditure on grocery and food-
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related goods, in the market analysis of the report. It assumes a moderately-sized public
market hall of 19,000 sf (9,500 net sf of leasable vendor area), which would contain
approximately 25 vendors.
The City of Tacoma currently has the advantage of plentiful site opportunities and a
generally underdeveloped downtown core with relatively inexpensive land values.
Increased demand for housing and other mixed uses will be changing the economics of
the downtown core in coming years. Consequently, the present time is an appropriate
time for the city leaders and local stakeholders to seriously contemplate a public market
amenity for its downtown core. This study’s research suggests distinct economic
advantage in the adaptive re-use of an existing structure (vs. new construction) assuming
a market hall structure with an estimated development cost of approximately $1.7 million
plus costs of land and tenant improvements.
From fifteen initial sites, four were chosen as the most probable and viable locations for a
public market, and with the greatest potential for promoting additional economic
development. The sites are: The “Streets & Grounds” Site: (Brewery District);
Freighthouse Square/Pierce Transit Plaza: (Dome District); Petrich/Bamford Site: (East
side of the Foss Waterway); Colonial Produce/Johnny’s Seafood: (West Side of the Foss
The report has generated an initial list of possible stakeholder participants in development
and operations of a Tacoma Public Market. The development could potentially include
collaborative combinations of private for-profit, private non-profit, governmental and
quasi-governmental agencies. Our observation has been that agencies, such as the City of
Tacoma, will ultimately advance an initiative to institute a public market program
customized to the local political will, the financial resources and the private interest
participation that can be secured behind its initiative. Moreover, Tacoma’s program, like
all other public market programs will also be uniquely different from any other example.
During the research phase and in discussions with stakeholders, The Scott Group
collected information on the various public grants and funding sources that were used by
the municipalities in their efforts to build a public market. The funding strategies and
public funding sources varied and show a great deal of creativity. In addition, TSG
researched federal, state and county grant sources as well as noting those sources
identified in previous studies provided by the city. The report has also proposed a host of
financing methods and tools the City might explore to effectively joint venture with local
stakeholders as well as provide incentive for private investment. Specifically, Impact
Capital, (Seattle), has expressed interest in potentially providing initial resources required
for initiating on the first next steps. A specific objective of this study has been to bring to
light a variety of resources potentially available when stakeholders advance efforts to
build a Tacoma Public Market.
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Section XVII: Next Steps
The larger intent of this study has been to provide an initial roadmap and a set of
common understandings upon which stakeholders might advance along in the process of
developing a public market. The following are specific potential next steps and
recommendations to take the Tacoma Public Market to a next stage of realization.
Creating an Initial Public Market Task Force
To further generate public support and advance the development of the Tacoma Public
Market, the authors of this report would recommend that the City’s role be one of
disseminating this information and encouraging private party stakeholders including for
example, non-profits, private business interests and developers, a PDA, a civic
organization, etc. to take the next steps in initially chairing a Public Market Task Force.
The Task Force would comprise various stakeholders and agencies, such as the ones
interviewed and/or identified in this report. This core advisory panel could include the
directors of the Tacoma Farmers Market, as well as various interested property owners,
vendors, businesses and other civic leaders and citizens.
This task force’s purpose and overall mission would be to garner public and political
support for development of a market, and to lead on obtaining funding through grants,
fundraising, etc. Community outreach, presentations, etc, would be recommended to help
the region visualize what the Tacoma Public Market could be, and what other
components could comprise the overall market development concept. This task force
would also assist in an eventual recommendation and/or formation of an entity that will
manage the market.
Leverage City Assets
The City might seek to creatively leverage value from underused or it’s functionally
obsolete assets. For example, when the City elects to initiate disposition of City-owned
property that may be a viable site for a Public Market it is suggested that proposals which
incorporate a Public Market component as part of the site’s redevelopment plan receive
preferential consideration in the disposition process. In this approach it may be
achievable to leverage a Public Market, and further, enhance other assets of the City’s in
a more effective disposition program. The Streets and Grounds sited identified in this
report may potentially be one such site.
Refine the Site Analysis
Additional site analysis would be necessary to gauge interest and identify the one or two
most feasible sites. This could involve:
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• Property Owner Discussions: Individual discussions and establishing a
framework for negotiation with property owners of sites
• Site Assessments: Conducting a detailed site assessment, including due diligence
o Owners interest in sale, lease or JV scenario
o Review of existing environmental documents and conditions
o Review of existing leases
• Consider Other Sites: Consider additional sites not considered herein and
follow up on expressed interest or concerns from stakeholders
• Community Input: Solicit added input from community
Refine the Financial Analysis
Further evaluation would be necessary to draft a detailed comparison analysis of the
recommended or probable sites for the Tacoma Public Market. The following categories
or assumptions would be explored further:
• Soft Cost Estimates (permits, consultant fees, etc)
• Land Costs
• Conduct Sensitivities/Options Analyses
• Initiate Conceptual Design (with architect/design consultant) for top one or two
• Develop Tenant Program: a performance spec/Tenant Improvement budget for
vendor stalls, and market details (signage, materials, equipment, etc)
• Consideration of Ancillary Income Generators
• Further Developing Ownership Scenarios: with input from property owners
stakeholders, (public, private, joint ventures, etc.)
This document was designed as an initial summary and resource that can be used to
advance the development of a public market for Tacoma. The next steps will help
advance the concept to the minds of the general public, and will hopefully attract both the
public and private interest and resources that combined advance a Tacoma Public Market.
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Books/ Regional and National Studies
Public Markets and Community Revitalization
ULI, Projects for Public Spaces 2004
Dollars and Sense of Shopping Centers
Urban Land Institute, 2002
Public Markets & Community-Based Food Systems
Project for Public Spaces, 2003
Portland Public Market – Two Site Feasibility Study
Urbsworks, Inc. 2002
Portland Public Market- Ankeny Plaza Site Analysis
Portland State University, MBA Team:
Shirley Farmer, Erin Gault, Meredith Peterson, Karen Shah
Residential Market Analysis for Downtown Tacoma
Real Vision Research, Inc. 2004
Pike Place Market Proposed 2005 Budget
Pike Place PDA, 2004
Olympia Farmers Market 2004 Policy Manual
Olympia Farmers Market Board, 2004
Tacoma Farmers Market Ford Foundation Application Package
Aileen Bacon, Tacoma Farmers Market Foundation 2004
From Tacoma News Tribune, June 3, 1927
“Mammoth Market to Open Saturday”
“New Market Here Sets High Mark”
From Daily Ledger:
“Tacoma’s New Market”- December 5, 1891
“Tacoma’s New Market: New Project Proves and Unexpected Success on Opening Day”
-August 11, 1893
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Appendix I: Market Interviews
Pike Place Market (Carole Binder)- Seattle, WA
Interviewees: Carole Binder, Executive Director
Organization: Pike Place Market
Summary: One of the most recognized and successful markets in the country, the “Market”
is actually a 9-block district of historic structures that house everything from
fishmongers to senior housing and high-end restaurants. There is an adjacent
“park” and gathering space, while the heart of the market itself is a linear series
of open air sheds, connected to larger, interior spaces and corridors. The heart of
the market is on one level, however the Hillclimb and Post Alley connect to
upper and lower levels of indoor and outdoor uses. The market is managed by a
Public Development Authority, which also oversees the development and
rehabilitation of properties.
• Market was founded in 1907.
• Urban Renewal proposal in the late 1960’s to demolish market for high-rise
• Keep the Market campaign, voters saved the market.
• PDA was funded by Federal Urban Renewal Grants
II. Financial/Management Structure:
• Pike Place Market Public Development Authority (PDA), under City of Seattle, manages
all market operations as well as new development and renovation projects.
• 80% of structures within historic district are owned by PDA
• PDA committees/boards include:
o PDA Council: 12-member volunteer board (4 members appointed by mayor, 4
members appointed by the Market Constituency, 4 by the PDA council)
o The Market Constituency (public forum for participation)
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o PP Market Historical Commission (design, historic review. Headed by City’s
Dept. of Neighborhoods)
o Pike Place Merchants Association
o Market Foundation
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
• Market Foundation
o PDA Goal: Preserve and restore the Market as a thriving, food-oriented
o Housing Development: Develop opportunities for low income and senior
o Business Incubator: Daystalls provide good business incubator opportunities
• Storage: They currently have 700-800 sf. of cold storage. Demand is easily for double
VI. Pike Place Market Components
• Commercial Tenants: 300 in the district, 225 are managed by PDA.PDA manages
175,000 sf of space.
• Vendor Mix
o Market Vendors (produce, fish, bakery, meats, dairy)
o Crafts (daystalls)
o Prepared foods (to go, specialty foods, etc)
o Well known anchors: Pike Place Fish, Jack’s Fish Spot, DeLaurenti, Sur la Table,
Starbucks, Market Spice
o Food Vendors: 45 food vendors in the market, not including restaurants.
o Daystalls: 100 farm businesses yearly using the daystalls.
o Restaurants/cafes/food bars: More than 4 dozen.
o Lease Rates: $8-$40 sf base rent. CAM, percentage rates additional.
• Housing: PDA manages 300 housing units, mostly low-income and affordable senior
• Misc. Components:
A number of programs for kids 6-12 years old
VII. Misc. Detail
• Housing Revenue: $300,000/yr
VIII. Misc. Comments/Advice from Interviewee:
• Vendor Mix: extremely important balance (several of each). Though market is thought
of as “upscale in nature,” core is to offer affordable products and encourage all income
levels to shop there.
• Popular Local Vendors: Helpful to have some locally known vendors anchor the market
• Encourage Internal Competition: 2-3 of each vendor type is optimal (currently, market
only has one butcher left).
• Housing is an integral part of the market’s success and vibrancy
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• New Market Tax Credits: and other incentives would be very important if developing a
• Private Fundraising: Having a foundation/endowment is important.
• Tapping into High Volume Vendors: 15-20% of the businesses support 80% of the
• City Funds: Can the City (Tacoma) issue bonds?
• History of a City Market: Its important for City’s to revive the history of their own
• High End Restaurants: Are attracted by the presence of an urban market, and they
support and provide publicity for the vendors.
• Viewing Opportunities: wherever possible, create opportunities to see people baking,
cleaning fish, preparing foods, etc.
• Local oriented, not tourist. In summer, traffic is 70% tourist, in winter its 40%.
• Location: Close to residential, office population a plus. PPM is also close to a number of
downtown bus lines. Whether by foot, transit or car, a major component of the market
location is that is should be easily accessible and visible to the target market.
• A People Place: Market is natural gathering place, or place to people watch.
• Should be a low-cost, low-maintenance structure:
• Event Days: Market sponsors theme days.
• More Storage, Freight Elevators: Market is short on dry storage. Recycling/Garbage
and Load/Unload zones all happen on the same street, in the heart of the activity.
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Pike Place Market (George Rolfe)
Founding director of the Pike Place Market Public Development Authority (1974-1980).
George Rolfe is presently a graduate-level professor of real estate development at the
University of Washington, Seattle and prior to that an active Seattle real estate developer.
He was the first employee of the Pike Place Market PDA when it was formed by the City
of Seattle in the early 1970’s.
I. On The Pike Place Market History: The Pike Place Market’s buildings were
developed by Arthur Goodwyn, who also developed Tacoma’s Crystal Palace Market.
The high point of the market was in the 1930’s and after the market fell in hard times
during and after WWII (similar to downfall of Tacoma’s market). By the1960’s the
functional market (food vendors) had reduced to about 1/5th of its former size. Goodwyn
eventually ran into financial trouble and sold the market structures to a local family
interest. A group of architects rallied the City to protect the original market structures,
many of which had fallen into disrepair.
• A total of $30M (in the 1970’s) was spent on acquiring, renovating and re-programming
the market. The PDA raised $17M in private capital, while $12-13M in public funding
• Lesson: If the City will act as loan guarantor for market’s first phase, it will be easier to
obtain lender financing (might want to focus on a Tacoma-based bank) assisting lender in
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securing its “private mortgage insurance.” Also, it is critical for financing to convey a
message the City really is serious.
• Utilize “Loan Loss Reserves” as a tool: the City commits a budgetary set-aside equal
to, for example, 10% of the public market’s debt obligation functioning as an
enhancement to obtain financing. The City’s commitment is not actually expended
unless/until the market fails to perform on its obligation.
• City initiated the PDA: The City of Seattle initiated the PDA, but did not directly
• Key to Market’s Success was making it economically viable: Base rents were set low
enough to attract a diverse mix of merchants. However, rents should be high enough that
“working merchants” are attracted (“…not part time craft vendors that play cards all
day.”). Percentage rents ensure that the market ownership would also benefit from the
upside if the market became very successful.
• Plan for Expansion: Start smaller
• The Landlord’s Job (the market operator) : get people to the market (marketing)
• Size of Stalls, Aisles: Goal is to make it feel crowded. Arcade should be 11’-15’ wide.
Stalls are approximately 11’x10’.
• Experience and Authenticity: The market “experience” is full of energy and
• Emphasis on Fresh: People feel that the market represents a healthy alternative to
• Parking: Parking is rate and location sensitive. Need a management entity to determine
rates. Some would argue that parking ratio should be 4 per 1,000 square feet of space.
However, the key is not how many you have, but where they are located (eg. having 88
short term stalls directly in front of and around the market may prove more valuable than
having a 300-car garage that’s 4 blocks away.)
• Bringing on Private Partners and RFPs: A City (Tacoma) should consider discussions
and negotiation if it is approached by a private sector entity on the concept of a public
market. A public market is a risky venture for any private entity to undertake. Due to the
higher risks associated and the inherent dynamics of an RFP, without a specific monetary
price pre-determined or pre-determined specific package, an RFP will attract a private
sector response to risk that incorporates either or both the lowest “package” and/or the
• Build Market First: The market (amenity) must be built first to realize the future value
and development potential of adjacent or nearby lots (i.e. don’t expect a developer to step
forward to propose to do everything at once or to follow through if one did. Any equation
(City’s) must incorporate benefit compensating risk.)
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Granville Island Market- Vancouver, BC
Interviewees: Ken Tunnicliffe, Director
Organization: Granville Island Market
Summary: One of the most successful markets in North America, Granville Island is a
government-owned “Market District,” with the actual Market Hall as its heart.
Granville Island offers an equally important emphasis on unique “culturally-
oriented” uses on adjacent properties, including theaters, industrial art galleries
and an arts college. Respecting the island’s historic industrial and maritime uses,
the Granville Island plan does not call for the elimination of existing industrial
uses and structures and includes an operational “maritime district.”
38-acre Granville Island was created in 1915 by the Federal Government for industrial uses.
In 1950’s, island was under pressure from increased density and mixed-use development in the
surrounding area. Most of the industrial users had left by the 1970’s.
An independent Granville Island Authority (an arm of the Federal Government) took over
management of the island in 1973 with the mission of making Granville Island a “people
and cultural place”.
II. Ownership/Management Structure:
• Owned by the Granville Island Authority
• Managed by The Granville Island Authority.
• Federal Government created The Granville Island Authority in 1973, deeded the land to the
Authority along with a $25 million grant.
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
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• Original Goal: Change the land uses to support the growing residential community by
making the island a “people and cultural place”
• Public Market: The market is debt free and rents are set according to typical shopping
• Market District: The balance of the island is subject to long-term land leases (up to 45
years) that are kept at below market in order to keep/attract tenants such as theater
groups, arts foundations, etc.
• Centrally Located, but poor transit access: Granville Island has become such a
destination, the fact that it is not well served by transit has not appeared to affect its
• Storage: They currently have a central 700-800 sf. of cold storage facility. Demand is
easily for double that amount. Dry storage is not provided so vendors have been using
their mezzanine office space for this purpose.
• Parking: There are 1428 stalls on the island. The district could use more but there are
additional off island parking lots close enough to be used by customers that help relieve
VI. Location / Program Criteria
• Public Market / Central Market Hall: Phased renovation and new construction of
several old commercial warehouse structures.
• Size: Gross Market: 42,000sf , Net Leasable: 21,000 nsf. (50% efficiency)
• Vendor Size: Avg. 300 sf, largest is 800 sf
• Vendor Mix: Typical mix with fresh foods representing the majority of vendors though
prepared or fast foods, crafts and imported world food products are represented as well.
• Average Sales psf: $1800/psf. Vendor Mix:
• 50 Permanent Vendors
• 47 Daystalls
• Lease Rates: Minimum Rent: $40 psf. Fast food is $50 psf.
• CAM rates $38-52 psf. Rates are high to reflect amount of common space, clean up and
• Lease Structure: 3-yr lease. Market assesses a percentage rent, whichever is higher.
Percentage rents range from 4-9%.
• 4% Produce, Meat, Baker
• 5-8% Prepared or “fast” foods.
• 9% Confectionary
• Seasonal Farmers Market: Up to 25 vendors set up outside on Thursdays (not winter)
• Market District: The remainder of the island is comprised of a number of uses all of
which operate under long term land leases (which include all improvements). These
leases are considered “under market” so that the Authority is able to encourage “cultural”
users and other uses compatible or synergistic with the Market. Tenants are expected to
do all TI work.
• Cultural Uses
• Emily Carr College of Art
• Arts Club Theater
• Industrial Arts/Gallery District
• Maritime District: Marine-oriented industrial, commercial and retail uses are
concentrated into this “sub-district” on the island.
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• Industrial Cement Factory
• Central City Community Center
• Parking: Several single and multi-leveled garages totaling 1428 spaces. The market
contains both free and paid parking.
• Misc. Components:
• A number of programs for kids 6-12 years old
• Co-op/Social Housing opportunities
VII. Income / Operations
• Gross Income: $42 Million Canadian. $6 Million in net revenue, of which $300,000
goes to cultural grants. The Public Market generates 50% of the gross income, parking
generates 20% and land leases generate the remaining 30% of gross income.
• Principal Customer Market:
o 40% men / 60% women
o 60% of visitors come from within 3 miles.
o Not a commuter market
o Not a lunch hour market
o Despite 2,500 students not a student market
VIII. Misc. Comments/Advice from Interviewee:
Markets must be self-sustaining: Revenue must be enough to cover operations, plus
Transit: Served by a Water Taxi to the adjacent waterfront high-rises. They are considering
expanding the service to the growing Concord Pacific development.
You must change/break existing shopping patterns of inner city residents and workers.
Must be a reason to “go there.” Goal is to be a vibrant and diverse “people place.” Look for
sites that have potential reason for people to go there or to naturally be there (i.e., don’t
just put a market in the middle of nowhere)
Keep the Market on One Level. Upper level/mezzanine space could be used for dry storage
or non-retail uses.
Distribution of Vendors: Don’t put similar vendors next to each other, in order to encourage
“wandering” and comparison shopping. GIM clusters vendors into “3 sections” that
include similar diverse mix.
Granville Island is not a “lunchtime crowd” spot. Since local residents and downtown
workers have to drive here, they usually will eat lunch closer to downtown. The
perception is that when you come to the market, you are coming to shop, or coming for
an hour+ stay.
Market Should be for Everyone: A place for people to come and enjoy without having to
spend anything. It should feel safe, and the nature of offering “unique foods” will attract
diverse clientele, both lower income and high income.
Market must feel clean: Though the overall feeling is industrial, market should be kept in
clean condition (trash, stalls, displays, etc)
No National Tenants: ever (but they can have their start in the market)
“No T-shirts” – market should stay true to food-oriented, and daystalls should offer
authentic crafts, not tourist-oriented t-shirts.
Organic Produce is not as successful inside Market: GIM prefers seasonal/outdoor farmers
market to offer organic produce.
Busiest Days: Sales increase progressively from Thursday-Sunday. In January, market closes
on Mondays for maintenance.
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Art College: Though they don’t spend much, the presence of 2,500 art students adds to the
“hustle and bustle” of market atmosphere, which many customers enjoy.
Active Truck Loading is Good: The Market encourages load/unload throughout the day, as
it is “authentic” to a working market, and adds interest to the streetscape.
Most Visitors Drive: Even though over 100,000 people live with a close radius, most of the
market visitors drive across the bridges. Most visitors want to load their own cars full of
goods, rather than walk or use public transit (Note: the market is not served by the
Market is “Geographically Contained”: It is a place, point of reference and destination
within the City.
Shopper Profile: Age: 25-45 Sex: 60% women Notes: They generally do not attract
many teens or seniors
Waterfront Markets have a very strong appeal
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Portland Public Market- Portland, OR
Interviewees: Ron Paul, Bureau of Planning
Organization: City of Portland, Portland Public Market
Summary: The City of Portland is initiating the development of a permanent public market at
the location of the current Saturday market. The market will consist of new construction as well
as the renovation of an historic structure, and will feature a large outdoor plaza for the Portland
Farmers Market. The Portland Development Commission has an extensive background in urban
development, and will use financing mechanism such as Tax Increment Financing for the public
market. Currently a more detailed feasibility study is underway
Others to Contact/Follow Up
• Joseph Readdy
• Marcie Mackerelli, Urbsworks, Inc (did initial study)
Portland has a rich history of public markets. In 1933, the Portland Waterfront Market was
considered one of the world’s largest markets, with 220,000 sf of floor space and 200 merchants.
The Saturday Market has been running in Ankeny Plaza for 20 years.
II. Financial Structure:
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Needs to be seeded with Public Capital. Market will not work as a private endeavor, since the
market rents are structured to support operations and expenses, but not debt service. Market space
or structure m8st be debt-free in order to be feasible for these tenants.
Structured as a municipally-owned asset managed by a privately owne3d entity. Management is
with a contracted with a private, non-profit.
Another model under consideration would be management under Metro (MERC), a regional
agency that also manages the Convention Center and Expo Center. Metro has taxing authority,
and can tap solid waste fees, etc.
Estimated costs would be covered by:
Public Funds: 2/3
Tax Increment Financing: City’s primary funding mechanism. (Can we use in Washington
Federal Funding: Project has received almost $500k in federal funding:
$70k: USDA Ag. Marketing Services Grant
$100k: HUD EDI (Economic Development Initiative) for preliminary design
$300k: Interiors Dept (Save America’s Treasures- Historic Bld.)
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
Market is to be a catalyst for development in new Market District bridging Old
Town/Chinatown and the Waterfront.
City anticipates the market will attract up to $500 Million of development within 6-blocks.
Placemaking: Goal of creating a people gathering hub for the City. Public Market must
benefit the public, especially considering the use of public resources.
Encourage market rate housing in an area where they are currently a number of lower-income
properties and social services. Goal is to revitalize but not “gentrify”
Multi-phased. Adjacent parcels are to be controlled by the PDC and considered for expansion
Incubator for small businesses.
Parking is perceived as a big issue. City is planning on building a parking structure w/ 250
spaces, 1 block away. Financing is uncertain.
VI. Location/Program Criteria
• Locate in an area that has development potential, where Market can leverage additional
development. A transitional, but not a blighted neighborhood in the downtown area.
• City chose not to locate market adjacent to Pearl District because:
o Location of Whole Foods
o Area already heavily developed, lessoning opportunity for a Market District.
• Would like there to be residential within ¼ mile, or proximity to office
• There should not be a supermarket within ¼ mile
• Close to rail and bus transit. City was interested in sites that were close to Union Station
regional transit hub.
• Each site contemplated was within 1 or 2 light rail stops from the convention center.
• Primary Market Components:
o Market Hall, with mezzanine. 16,000-24,000 sf
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o Transitional Market: Indoor/Outdoor daystalls, seasonal, bridge from Market
Hall to Farmers Market. Under canopy, 1,000-2,000 sf, 20-30 vendors. Daystalls
are 254 sf
o Farmers Market: Seasonal outdoor market
• Market Vendors/Mix
o Merchants can include some prepared foods, produce, etc.
o Uses to complement farmers market and offer tenants that are not usually found
in open air markets (on-site baking, seafood, fresh meats, cheeses/dairy, wine)
o On-site vintner for sale and production of wine, showcasing Oregon wine
industry (regional attribute)
• Marketing “Flavor”
o Market should be food-centric heart of the City
o 75% of goods should be locally-grown. Imported goods must be labeled.
o Some prepared foods will be available, but City does not want a food court.
o Ethnic Diversity: Engage the City’s ethnic communities
o Two restaurants are planned for the mezzanine level to provide higher income
and to attract more round-the-clock activity.’
• Lease Structure
o Average rents proposed: $21 psf
o Spaces average 10x10 and 10x15
o Percentage rents are anticipated for uses with higher sales (fishmonger,
• Ancillary Uses
o Office Space
• Regional Population: 1,600,000
• Street Vacation: City is proposing a street vacation for the farmers market
VIII. Wish List/Misc. Comments
• Define the Market: Understand the qualities you want embodied in the market. Portland
wanted to focus on all food-related vendors, including food-related crafts and prepared
• Collaborate with Farmers Market: Make sure the existing farmers market is
considered, consulted with and made welcome, even if they don’t; end up participating in
the public market (eg. the Portland farmers market is still going to exist as it is on 3 days
in 3 locations throughout downtown)
• Public Market will not succeed if at odds w/ farmers market
• Relationship with vendors is very important
• City has an MOU with the Farmers Market
• Get all stakeholders interested, involved: Discuss with grocers, landowners, tourism,
offices, chamber of commerce….build strong local support.
• Endowment: Market needs an endowment to cover depreciation. Income from vendors
should be structured such that amount is left to contribute to endowment.
• Tap into local vendors: If possible, try to include well-known local vendors as local
anchors (such as Johnny’s Seafood)
• Parking! Parking! Parking!
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Olympia Farmers Market- Olympia, WA
Interviewees: Charlie Hanny, Bob Sullivan, Manager
Organization: Olympia Farmers Market
Summary The Olympia Farmers Market is a publicly owned open-air shed structure built
to house the local farmers market. It operates seasonally, and the Market leases
the space from the City (owner), who in turn pays the Port of Olympia for a
long-term land lease. The market has become a hub for organic produce, and
gross sales are approaching $4million/yr.
Others to Contact/Follow Up
• John Moore, Port of Everett. Formerly with Port of Olympia, was major proponent of the
• Steve Pottle, Bob Von Shoel, Port of Olympia Commissioners
• Clarita Mattox: City of Olympia
• Current Market Organization has been in place since 1975, but a farmers market has been
operating since the 1920’s.
• Previously on a vacant lot leased for $1/yr from City
II. Financial Structure
• City Bond was proposed in 1995, but failed (60% required, 59.2% achieved)
• City folded Market financing into a larger “parks & recreation” Councilmanic Bond.
• Market was expanded to four days a week: Thurs-Sun 10:00-3:00 (136 days/yr)
• Port leases land to City. Market pays lease to City.
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
• Turn underutilized land at the Port of Olympia into a “Market District.”
• District would be area for downtown to grow towards the water.
• Former industrial zoned waterfront was rezoned to mixed-use
• Market Mission: To develop and foster local produce in Thurston, Mason, Lewis and
Grays Harbor County (to become a super-regional market center). Maintain Status as a
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• Some merchants viewed it as competition
• Downtown Thriftway did not want a permanent market structure
• Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant committed to adjacent parcel as soon as market signed
• Market sales increased 2000% percent during first year in permanent structure (sales
went from $175,000 in open air lot to $1.8 Million first year in permanent shed)
• Gross Sales for 2003 were up to $3.7 Million.
• New Development in the Market District includes:
o Mixed-use office and retail building
o Two restaurants
o Major Senior Housing Development (200+ units)
o Conference Center (planned)
o New Marina and adjacent Mixed-use district (planned)
• Major Tourist attraction in Thurston County (many more repeat visits than Capitol Bldg)
VI. Location/Program Criteria
• Location close to the water, esplanade
• Very family-oriented
• Good Freeway Access
• Market Vendors/Mix
o 80 stalls
o 132 vendors (seasonal rotation)
o Two fruit vendors are the “anchor” stalls
o Regional Produce (Western WA), Eastern WA. Ok.
o Some small prepared/fast food vendors
o Bakeries, Meats/Seafood, mostly produce (organic)
• Marketing Budget: $45,000 yr. Radio, paper, posters
• Foundation: “Friends of the Olympia Farmers Market”- non-profit foundation set up by
• Board: 7-member vendor board.
• Staff: 3- Manager, Assistant, Maintenance
• Security: Drive-by security provided by the Port and City of Olympia.
• Regional Population: 90,000 (includes Olympia and surrounding areas)
• Regional Attraction: many regular visits to the Market come from the Tacoma area.
• Hosted Events: Taste of the Market
VIII. Wish List/Misc. Comments
• Need More Space: so vendors could expand
• More Parking: Currently they have 242 spaces, would prefer 500. They are looking at
building a parking structure (eventually)
• Parking for Tour Busses: should be anticipated
• Good/Adequate Rest Rooms
• Consistency: is important. Avoid “theme days” and keep all market days the same.
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• WORK WITH VENDORS! Get much input form vendors up front in terms of vendor
mix, services, etc.
• If considering Crafts be sensitive to mix of crafts and food vendors. Limit or standardize
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Depot Market Square- Bellingham, WA
Interviewee: Tara Hardesty, Development Specialist
Organization: City of Bellingham, Planning and Community Development
Summary The City of Bellingham is financing the construction of “Depot Market Square,”
an open air pavilion as a permanent home for the Saturday Farmers Market. At
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this point the market will continue to operation only on Saturdays and it will be
seasonal. The site is designed to double as a parking lot for all other days. The
City used a creative combination of federal and state funds and private support to
finance the estimated $2.8 million structure.
Follow up/others to contact: Steven Trinkhouse, Terra Organica (may be involved with a
separately proposed public market
• Saturday Farmers Market has existed for 12 years. Site is currently a parking lot.
• Current Farmers Market also operates The Saturday Bellingham Market a Wednesday
market in Fairhaven, and a Tuesday market in Barclay Village (east of I-5).
• The two daily markets outside of downtown will remain in operation.
II. Ownership/Management Structure
City of Bellingham will own the structure and underlying land. The City Parking Department will
manage the property. The Depot Market will be managed by the Depot Market Board, which
includes market vendors.
• Funding Sources:
o $214 k: Economic Development Initiative Grant (EDI): Whatcom County.
o $450k: Capital Programs Fund Grant, State of Washington
o $836k: Real Estate Excise Funds, City of Bellingham
o $300k: Street Funds, City of Bellingham (curb, sidewalk, parking surface)
o $150k: Wastewater Funds, City of Bellingham (public restrooms)
o $550k: Private Sector (fundraising, etc)
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
• Market is to be heart of city’s new “Market District.”
• Site is adjacent to former industrial land that is slated for mixed-use, including the 132-
acre Georgia Pacific Mill.
• Plans are underway for up to 800 market rate units to be built on 5-acre parcel adjacent to
the Market lot.
• Parking may be an issue. Generally, parking is found in angled parking in front of
adjacent parcels. It appears that the construction of the market will eliminate 40-50
parking spaces, and there will be approximately 60 available on-site while the market is
• Initial Reception was not too positive, as farming vendors did not feel that their
considerations were listened to in the original design. So the project was redesigned with
VI. Location / Program Criteria
• Public Market Components
o Size/SF: 15,400 sf vendor area
o Market Pavilion: Open air structure with 7000 sf of space, with a “viewing”
mezzanine, inspired by European markets. Pavilion will feature a 930 sf retail
space, which may be leased by a caterer, and offered jointly as a
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cooking/teaching venue for the Whatcom Community College Culinary Arts
o Permanent and Daystall Sheds: 8,400 sf of vendor space in two linear covered
sheds that are perpendicular to the Pavilion.
• Vendors: The market currently operates with 80 vendors.
• Parking: 60+ onsite stalls provided. Pavilion doubles as indoor parking venue.
• Spark Development: Locate in area that has development potential, where Market
could leverage opportunity for re-development. A transitional, but not blighted
neighborhood in the downtown area.
• Current Location: Location is where current market operates so impacts and benefits to
the surrounding area will remain similar.
VII. Income / Operations
Gross Income: The City is not operating the market facility as a profitable or break even facility.
They are more interested in the business and development the Market will generate. The lease to
the Depot Market on Saturdays will increase from $125 to $200 per day.
The Saturday Farmers Market or Depot Market will be operated by the Depot Market Board.
VIII. Misc. Comments/Advice
• Local merchants are very supportive of the Market
• One business leader stepped up to provide a guarantee on materials acquisition.
• Very important to listen to the vendors, but do not allow them to make programmatic
• The effort to build a market was started by the Local Rotary Chapter.
• Purchasing Whatcom Co. Bridge: The fundraising foundation for the Depot Market
Square is in the process of purchasing a surplus steel bridge from the DOT for $175k.
The purchase is being made via a solid waste firm that has been given the salvage rights
to the bridge, which is just north of Mt. Vernon. The value of the steel, to be used as part
of the framing of the pavilion, is estimated at $432k.
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Pioneer Park Pavilion- Puyallup, WA
Interviewees: Sonie Waltier Hanson, Assistant Director, Farmer’s Market Manager, Puyallup
Main Street Association; Sarah Harris, Pavilion Supervisor, Puyallup Park
Pavilion; Ralph Dannenberg, Parks and Recreation Department Director.
Organization: Parks & Recreation Department, Main Street Association
Summary The Puyallup Pavilion was built by the City of Puyallup on municipal land
with councilmanic bonds. They currently operated it with an expectation of it
creating a long term cash flow to the city. They also built an adjacent 1,800sf
restaurant space that used separate funds but will be operated by the same city
staff as the pavilion. The primary purpose of the facility was to be a home for
the Puyallup Farmers market but it was designed and is operated by the city as
a multipurpose facility.
Puyallup has had a vibrant farmers market for 22 years. It was created by the Puyallup Chamber
of Commerce but is currently run by the Puyallup Main Street Association.
Originally the Pavilion was to be the permanent home for the Puyallup Farmers market.
However, as the project progressed through the political process it was changed to be a true
multi-purpose facility with the farmers market as the primary user.
The construction was funded by through a councilmanic bond to be paid off with hotel and motel
II. Financial Structure
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• The pavilion construction was paid for using a $2,000,000 councilmanic bond to be paid
off with hotel and motel taxes. The logic was that the market brings tourists.
• The proforma estimate is that the facility will generate approximately $200,000 a year in
• The facility is operated by a city property manager who leases out the facility.
• Many facility operational costs such as maintenance, custodial and landscaping are
carried in the larger city budget.
• The farmers market has first right of refusal on utilizing the space.
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
• Permanent facility that can house the Puyallup Farmers Market.
• Spur development in the Puyallup core.
• Provide Puyallup with a mid sized all purpose facility and keep that market local.
• The multi-purpose character of the facility makes a good but not great fit for the Market.
• The Puyallup Farmers Market uses the facility Friday’s , Saturdays, and Sundays for half
of the day for 6 months a year.
• Within the first 2 months of operation the manager had leased the facility for 50 events
and estimated first year income will be $200,000
VI. Location/Program Criteria:
• On historic Puyallup Central park along with the new Puyallup Central Library.
• Plenty of surrounding parking (both street and lot)
• Adjacent to Main Street.
• The public market is operated by the Puyallup Main Street Association.
• Market Vendors/Mix
o Floor scored with 10x10ft squares
o 120 vendors (seasonal rotation)
o 60% of vendors are farmers
o Limit crafts
o Some small prepared/fast food vendors
o Bakeries, Meats/Seafood, mostly produce
• Fee Structure: 22% of gross vendor fees or $20,000 a year.
• Marketing Budget: N/A
• Foundation: None
• Board: Market is operated by the Puyallup Main Street Association.
• Staff: 3- Manager, Assistant, Maintenance
• Regional Attraction: many regular visits to the market come from the Tacoma area.
VIII. Wish List/Misc. Comments
• Need More Space: for storage and kitchen space (because of the events that also use the
• Better Sound Muffling: The hard durable surfaces designed with the market in mind
create to much sound reflections for other events.
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• More Parking: Currently they have 230 off street parking spaces shared with the library.
Will be getting 20-40 more spaces next year.
• Better Truck loading: Access for loading could be better (drive into the facility)
• Lighting: More intense lighting for the market.
• Electrical: Could have more.
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Lonsdale Quay Market- North Vancouver, BC
Interviewees: Gary Matheison, CEO. Brian Dunkey, General Manager
Organization: CCS (Continental Commercial Systems Corp), Lonsdale Quay Market
Summary A successful, privately owned “public market center” with a ground floor
primarily offering an upscale public market experience. The second floor is
more traditional retail and the project is capped by 2 additional floors of hotel.
The quay is located on the North Vancouver waterfront and alongside the
primary transit hub (including the bus and “Seabus” terminal).
• North Vancouver was very industrial but began to redevelop in the mid 1980s.
• Market was developed in mid 1980’s (in anticipation of World’s Fair) by Intrawest with
25 other partners.
• Sold to CCS.
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II. Ownership / Management Structure
• Owned and operated by CCS.
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
• When originally built the Quay was designed to act as the retail hub of Northshore transit
• Market would anchor master-planned linear waterfront development and serve the
• Market would capture the 5,000 workers in the adjacent commercial core.
• Commuters are not really shoppers
• Second floor retail is difficult
• Farmers Market was not well-received by indoor merchants, but management has found
that the two uses together bring much more foot traffic.
• IGA grocery moved in 3 blocks away 2 years ago and has affected the market
• Only 90 parking stalls
V. Location / Program Criteria
• Quay Components: The Quay is comprised of 2 stories of “market hall” each 21,000sf
net and 2 stories of hotel at 50,000 sf.
• Market Components
o Size: Gross Market: 42,000sf , Net Leasible: 21,000 nsf. (50% efficiency)
o Vendor Size: Average vendor 500 sf , Average fast food 250 sf
o Vendor Mix: The ground level “market” has a typical mix of fresh foods but
they also have a fair sized food court as well as limited crafts and food related
• Vendor Mix:
o 60 Permanent Vendors
o 20 Daystalls
• Lease Rates: $30-60 psf NNN
• Lease Structure: Base + percentage + NNN
• Seasonal Farmers Market: Up to 25 vendors set up outside on Thursdays (not winter)
• Parking: 90 spaces underground, 30-40 spaces at adjacent City-owned lot. First 2 hrs
free, otherwise $1.50 hr.
VI. Income / Operations
Net Operating Costs are @ $15-17 psf.
• Regional Population: 180,000 (includes all north shore areas)
• Transit Hub generates 3-4 million visits
• Market Visits: 3 million people per year.
• 5000 employees within 3-4 blocks
• Weekdays shoppers of locals employees
• Weekends shoppers are families
VIII. Misc. Comments/Advice from Interviewee
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• Transportation Connections are Vital: Constant flow of commuter traffic is helpful.
The failure of one a similar market in Vancouver is attributed to the fact that it was out of
the way, and was not served by transit. 3-4 million annually
• Second-level Retail is Ongoing Struggle: They have very high turnover, would suggest
another use, such as residential, if other income is needed to offset costs
• Carts Program very successful: and is a good revenue stream.
• Non-food vendors should be food-related if on main level: eg. Kitchen Store,
Cookbook store, Wine shop.
• Focus on Unique, Fresh Food: it will draw all incomes, but will feel like a “gourmet
focal point” (inherently upscale is implied as it is a strong draw for new downtown
• Customers: Lots of downtown workers during the week, very family oriented on
• Managing Market is difficult: Lots of interaction with merchants day-to-day. Important
balance with merchants: get them involved, but do not let them take over daily decision
making (i.e. Establish Boundaries).
• Market is not an income generating property: Cities should not look at this as an
investment to make money on, but a smart economic tool.
IX. TSG Comments/Observations:
• Very successful program
• Focused, food-oriented ground floor market
• Plenty of indoor seating and “food court” uses adjacent to the water
• Large open spaces (1. Main market hall, 2. Food Court/Public Seating area.
• Even Food court vendors were encouraged to offer deli-style prepared foods to go.
• All “mom n pop” shops, but with good design standards (signage, materials, etc).
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Westminster Quay- New Westminster, BC
Interviewee: Nick Marini
Organization: Westminster Quay
Summary Westminster Quay is a privately owned “public market” located in New
Westminster, BC. The market was developed in the late 1980’s as part of the
redevelopment of a former waterfront industrial property to mixed-use, including
a 1.5 mile Esplanade with a large residential community. The site is across the
train tracks from downtown, and is not immediately served by transit. The
market has had substantial vacancies, especially on the second level, and has a
scattered mix of retail tenants and food vendors, a mix more common with the
1980’s “Festival Markets” such as Harborplace in Baltimore. The quality of local
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food vendors, as well as the display and quality of space, is below the standard of
the other markets we have reviewed. Though rents per square foot are very high
($50) compared to other markets, sales per square foot are apparently lower. A
new IGA grocery store opened 3 blocks away, and has been very well received
by the high end condominium population.
• There was an existing outdoor farmers market on this site for years. When the larger
parcel was developed the city conditioned it on the development of a Market Hall
• When market originally opened, ground floor was exclusively food-oriented.
• When originally opened the market was extremely successful but poor management of
vendor mix and overly aggressive rents (up to $100 psf) drove vendors away
II. Ownership / Management Structure
• Privately owned and operated. Previous owners sold to new owners several years ago.
• Leases were structured with comparably high rents ($100 psf) to help pay debt service
and meet expected returns of original owners.
III. Development Objectives, Opportunities
• Market was designed as retail focal point for New Westminster’s revival in the late
• Market would anchor master-planned linear waterfront development and serve the
• Location: Site is located on the waterfront, which is separated from downtown by train.
• Visibility: Site does not have good visibility from freeway or from downtown, though
there is rooftop signage that can be seen.
• Lack of Transit Connection: There is a connection to the Skytrain (subway) from
across the train tracks with a skybridge (In theory, this should be a close enough
• Parking: The quay only has BLANK stall of its own and therefore leases and additional
BLANK stall at the cost of X DOLLARS annually.
VI. Location/Program Criteria
Primary Market Components
Size: Gross Market: 75,000 sf , Ground floor Net Leasable: 22,500 nsf, 2nd Level
Retail Net Leasable: 22,500 nsf (50% efficiency)
Vendor Size: NA
Vendor Mix: The vendor situation is not ideal. The market saw many of its tenants
leave and its tenant mix degrade to the point where there are few “public market”
like vendors and they are mixed in with a few low grade fast food vendors and
other general retailers.
Average Sales psf: NA
Lease Rates: Minimum Rent: $50 psf NNN.
Lease Structure: 3-yr lease.
Seasonal Farmers Market: Up to 25 vendors set up outside on Saturdays (not winter)
VII. Market Details:
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• Size/SF: 45,000 sf net vendor area (22.5k on each floor). 75,000 GSF
• Regional Population: 55,000. Adjacent waterfront development: 4,000
• CAM Charges are high
• Average operations costs are $18 psf. Market needs to gross $2M/yr for adequate returns.
Current gross sales receipts are $1.8 M. Goal is $2.5M.
• Parking: Market pays $200,000 a year to lease parking lots.
VIII. Misc. Comments/Advice:
• Stay with the program: Focus on food-oriented market. Don’t try to “offer everything”
such as crafts vendors, clothing, and tourist-oriented merchants.
• Consistency: Make daily experience consistent for visitors, no “theme days.”
• City needed more than just the market on the waterfront. Not enough regional or adjacent
• Adjacent casino has not been good for business. The patrons do not come to the market,
as the casino has onsite eating/drinking establishments.
• Need 2 -3 of everything: They have only 1 baker, produce, meat, flower & fish.
• You want flowers or produce when you first come in (for color, festive look, etc)
• Branding is important. The previous owners charged a lot for rent, so the market does
not have a good reputation among vendors.
• Public Subsidy is needed to offer lower prices so that vendors can be successful, and
reinvest in their own stalls. Low rent is the only way to go.
• Space for Weekend Vendors: is needed and is important
• Second Floor Space: Should be a different use: Office, meeting, hotel or residential, but
do not put the market on separate levels.
• “Culinary Heart of the Region” – focus should be on gourmet and regional foods and
products (Note: Tacoma finally has a cluster of high-end restaurants downtown to help
foster that image).
• Try to get a cooking school, culinary arts program.
• Pub -does very well.
• Marine Access: it would be nice to have marine access, or to be able to sell fish “off the
• Need to screen vendors: Want to make sure that vendors have engaging “personalities”
to sell the experience.
• Residents Want Better Quality: which is why most of the waterfront tenants drive
across the overpass to shop at the IGA store.
IX. TSG Comments/Observations:
• “Market” component of the main floor feels like a “symbolic” market feel in order to
retain the image of what Westminster Quay once was.
• Westminster Quay is similar to Freighthouse Square in terms of atmosphere, quality of
vendors, and diversity of uses (though FS does not feature a public market component)
• Public Seating faces the water.
• Food Court-style vendors are located throughout the building, on both floors.
• Restaurant looked “tired”- old carpet, dated look.
• What is the “image” of Freighthouse Square.
• Smooth Jazz music piped into market “takes place” of the noise and bustle that should be
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Appendix II: Stake Holder Interviews
1) Tacoma Farmers Market
Melisa Evangelos, Aileen Bacon, Richard Hines, Market Board
• “Tacoma may be limited by number of vendors” - should look into quantity of vendors,
both in Tacoma Farmers Market and in regional farmers markets (Olympia, Puyallup,
etc). Note: there was concern over whether there would be enough TFM merchants to fill
the space. We suggested to them that the idea of a Public Market center is that is would
be a regional (South Sound) draw, and consequently it may prove very attractive to
• Mission of TFM is food centric. They have Eastern Washington vendors. Also
importance of preserving farmland.*
• The TFM does not have very high sales per customer. Part of the problem could be
attributed to the fact that it’s in the middle of the day, and the middle of the CBD: many
nearby workers come for their lunch break, and then grab “a few apples”
and head back to the office. The hours may not encourage purchase of larger amounts of
groceries, which would have to be stored at the office.
• Stalls range from $20-40, with farmers paying 5% of all sales over $200, while other
vendors pay 6%. Taxes to city amount to $400/wk ($5/per vendor).
• 5,000-6,000 adults are there on a typical summer day, with up to 9,000 adults on a special
• TFM has a great local reputation, but that hasn’t translated into big dollars yet.
• They have gotten rid of many of the crafts vendors, and now make sure that “artisan
crafts” are featured (not knick-knacks, sunglasses, etc)
TSG discussed the opportunity for TFM to expand. Could they test a Saturday market?
• TFM concerned that most of their vendors already have commitments at successful
• They are planning to expand this year by trying a Tuesday night (note: several farmers
and public markets have informed us that Monday-Tuesday are the slowest days, with
business increasing as the weekend approaches)
TSG discussed the “chicken and egg” scenario about opening a market on a more popular or
weekend day. The competitive weekend markets are in cities with much smaller populations.
Once established, a weekend or Saturday market in Tacoma may do quite well. We also
discussed the importance of the permanent Public Market component, which serves to bring year
round customers and a steady flow of traffic (especially on weekends). The Case Studies have
said the combination of the Public Market and the adjacent seasonal Farmers Market together
bring in much more foot traffic, which is an obvious benefit to both.
• TFM would be amenable to a Public Market/Farmers Market center or district. They have
concerns over maintaining affordable rates to ensure the success of their vendors. We
noted that many cities use an approach to keep rates low and reasonable to ensure the
success of the markets, but they also can include mechanisms to benefit from the upside
if the market is a very successful endeavor.
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The TFM also shared thoughts about what elements would be ideal, or what they’d like to see in a
location for a public/farmers market center:
• Parking is a big deal, as much free parking as possible
• High visibility
• Need to create a real people place
• Not necessarily in the heart of the CBD – “room to breathe”
• View of the water would be nice
• Playground/place for children. They’d like to attract families.
• Location/neighborhood doesn’t matter per se, as long as it can be easily found. They are
amenable to Tacoma Avenue (Police Station site).
• Freighthouse Square area/Dome District seems ideal because “so many pieces are in
place” including parking transit, other attractions, open space (plazas) high visibility.
*Note: Throughout our readings and interviews, we have heard repeatedly that the markets also
perform an important social function: to serve as reminder of the importance of preserving
farmland (both urban and rural). This is usually factored into the market “mission” and serves
as an educational/outreach component.
2) Foss Waterway Development Authority
Sue Dowie, Dir. of Planning, Don Meyer, Executive Director
• Think that the Foss Waterway would be a great location for a market, but are concerned
• A public market would be a great complement to the existing (and proposed)
development, and should be tied in to help improve connections to the CBD.
• Either the west or east side could be considered, though the Port is growing cautious
about the “gentrification” of the east side of the waterway.
• Consider the Colonial Produce site. There have been meetings/discussions with Colonial
Produce and Johnny’s Seafood about a market concept at this site. Their concept was for
something smaller that might serve the downtown core.
• Johnny’s Seafood has been interested in remodeling to incorporate a take out restaurant,
open up to the esplanade, etc.
• They would not recommend considering the Maritime Center building, because currently
there is another use planned for it.
• Also, look at opportunities at the sites adjacent to the Murray Morgan Bridge.
3) Port of Tacoma
Bob Emerson, Director of Real Estate
• TSG approach was for B.E. to consider that there may be viable sites on either side of the
Foss Waterway, and that some market models are compatible with marine and industrial
• Thinks that a Public Market would be a great attraction in Tacoma.
• TSG discussed the model of Granville Island, which houses industrial uses (concrete
plant) and also has a designated “Maritime District” for marine-related and dependent
• Thinks that the Dome District is an optimal site for a public market.
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4) Urban Waters
• Thinks that the West side of the Foss is better alternative, because of proximity to CBD
and momentum on the west side.
• The idea of a market has been floated for years. Thinks that Muni Dock/Site 9 would be a
good location, because of adjacent connection to Murray Morgan Bridge.
5) Kathryn Bamford
Owner, BamBam Pottery
Note: Through discussions with KB and Claire Petrich, we chatted about the possibility of a
unique waterside market that would incorporate marine and industrial uses, as well as arts and
unique retail (Tideflat traders). Both properties feature large shed structures that could
accommodate a public market hall. There is a lot of open space in and around the buildings and
under/adjacent to the Murray Morgan Bridge, which could be resurfaced for parking. In
anticipation of the MM Bridge renovation and the construction of the D Street overpass, this area
will become more easily accessible in the coming years.
TSG discussed KB’s property, what her plans are for it and what she thinks about the idea of a
• Thinks the idea of a public market is a very good one, and would complement the
“Tideflat Traders” that have opened up on the east side of the Foss
• She owns a shed structure that she has thought about for a market hall.
• She and Claire Petrich have discussed it. She likes the idea of a “funky” market district
that includes importers, artisans and marine-oriented uses (Granville Island model).
• She is planning on improving the landscaping along the shoreline and installing metal
sculptures. She’s an advocate for industrial arts.
• She would welcome the opportunity to “test the market” by offering one or more open
lots for the TFM to try a summer weekend market.
6) Claire Petrich
TSG discussed the east side Foss “World Market” concept with CP. She thought it was a great
idea, and thinks that it could create a natural hub on the east side of the Foss, while still
maintaining uses that are compatible with adjacent industrial land.
• Said that onsite shed/warehouse could be used for Market Hall
• Would welcome the opportunity to work with TFM or City of Tacoma, to make it
• Thinks that the east side of the Foss is in transition, but should be different from the west
side of the Foss. Not a place for luxury housing, but something that can become a unique
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7) Johnny’s Seafood
Gary Gerontis, President
TSG’s goal was to discuss the plans for Johnny’s Seafood to renovate, as well as the rumors of
the market concept between their site and Colonial Produce. We let him know that there will be a
number of sites considered, and that even if their site(s) were not chosen, it would be important to
have Johnny’s as a visible anchor, and on the flipside it would be advantageous for Johnny’s to
• He has explored plans to renovate their city-owned structure to allow for public viewing
of warehouse, restaurant/café component.
• If City asked Johnny’s to participate in a Public Market that was not on the Foss
Waterway, GC said they would prefer to have adjacent warehouse/distribution uses
(would not like to separate his retail from wholesale locations.
• If relocated, would like up to 15,000 sf. Would need most for warehouse, loading.
• Site on the Foss Waterway holds nostalgia for Johnny’s Seafood.
Note: Thus, if another site is ultimately chosen for the development of a public market, it would
be advisable for the City (or private sponsor) to consider the needs for Johnny’s Seafood, as they
would be an important draw. There could also be an opportunity for them to operate a cafe’/fish
n’ chips style seafood component, which could add strongly to the mix of vendors.
8) Colonial Food & Produce
(via phone) 2-7-05
Kevin Trucco, Owner
TSG’s goal was to find out what KT’s goals for the Colonial building were, and whether he was
committed to the “rumored” public market concept between Colonial and Johnny’s.
• The building may or may not be for sale. KT is considering holding onto the property,
and could participate in a JV.
• The concept of a market has been discussed, but KT also knows the value of the land and
the importance of a profitable use. Hence KT is not necessarily wedded to the idea of
converting the building and/or site to a public market.
• Colonial Produce is wholesale distribution, so a retail concept is not a priority.
• Skeptical on whether public (City) participation would be beneficial.
• Thinks that the building itself is sturdy and worth saving, for whatever use.
• One consideration is the truck access to Johnny’s Seafood (building is owned by the
9) Tacoma Dome
Jody Hodgson, Asst. Director
TSG asked JH what the options were for the redevelopment of the Tacoma Dome. We wanted to
find out if there were concessions, restaurants and/or plaza improvements planned. The idea to
explore was whether there may be an opportunity to tap into the TC remodel bond by offering
space/capital for a market component.
• Plan for Dome may include a smaller venue. Not too much focus on restaurants/ancillary
uses (LeMay Museum may be planning these uses)
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• Thinks the public market would be a great idea, but thinks it should be closer to rail
• Doesn’t think that the use would be compatible with the program the TC is trying to
achieve with the remodel. They believe its very import to stay with their program.
10) Keith Stone
(former owner, Freighthouse Square)
• Originally inspired by Faneuil Hall (Boston, Rouse Company)
• Had market merchants in there, but they did not do well
• There wasn’t much else to come down for in downtown Tacoma, so FS changed its focus
and the food court and antique shops became more prominent.
• Thinks that the Dome District is perfect for the concept now, especially considering the
infrastructure and transit improvements.
11) Pierce Transit
Lynd Simonsen, PR Officer
• Pierce Transit is very supportive of development that supports Transit awareness
• PT has been in discussion with Mercy Housing, Tacoma Farmers Market, about use of
Sound Transit Garage spaces, and using garage structure for weather protection. Also, PT
agrees that market vendors would help activate the plaza space.
• Good opportunity for PT transit shed to house a market structure or some sort of
complementary use. PT is interested in selling. Leasing is not preferable
• TSG discussed opportunities for the PT Shed as a temporary “test site” for a farmers
market. PT is interested in disposing the property, and indicated housing would be a
Note: PT is interested in the sale of the property adjacent to the Tacoma Dome Station, but
perhaps an interim (short term) lease could be considered if they were willing to let the farmers
market try this location. Since a permanent Market solution may not be implemented for several
years, it may be worthwhile to identify temporary or transitional opportunities to test either the
farmers or public market concept.
12) Sound Transit
John McClane, Real Estate Acquisitions
Sound Transit is in the process of acquiring a right-of-way for the Nalley Valley line. This will
primarily consist of joint use agreements with Burlington Northern on its rail spur but there may
be occasional properties that are purchased. A likely group of these will be in the vicinity of the
East 25th Street and A Street intersection. There are several property owners in this area that
Sound Transit is currently negotiating with in an attempt to not purchase the entire property but
mitigate the impacts of building over the property’s parking by replacing the parking on an
• Sound Transit is supportive but not sure how they might help at this point
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• They will have property surrounding the East 25th Street and A Street intersection. But
currently they have disposition plans for acquired property (replacing parking they are
13) Intercommunity Mercy Housing
(via phone) 2-15-05
Walter Zisette, Vice President, Director of Community Development
TSG’s goals were to discuss the status of Mercy Housing’s interest in redevelopment of Pierce
Transit’s “Blue Shed” building adjacent the light rail station (across from Freighthouse Square)
and to get a sense for its initial interest level in accommodating either a farmers market or a
market hall below and/or in a front plaza area.
• Mercy is interested in exploring redevelopment scenarios with either a farmers market or
a larger market hall with a preference for a market hall perceived as being able to
generate higher rents and consistent income.
• His interest in the blue shed property continues (inactively waiting) while Pierce Transit
resolves issues surrounding its federal obligations as they relate to property disposition.
• When asked, “What could the City do to help advance a mixed-use project?”, responses
o 1.) Advance City engineers to resolve hazmat concerns surrounding the
site/neighborhood (Brownfield grants?);
o 2.) Provide resources for a mixed-use capacity study;
o 3.) Consider incentives for the adjacent private property owner to sell for greater
opportunity to incorporate some for-profit / non-profit partnership on a larger
14) University of Washington
Fred King, Director of Real Estate
• UW would consider allowing land or lease of existing (vacant) warehouse on Market
Street to use for an interim site for the farmers or public market.
• Market Street could be used as a “street fair” location.
• Schedule for long term development allows for a short-term use, perhaps 3-5 years
• UW is willing and supportive if the Farmers’ Market group is interested in hosting
• UW’s goal is not necessarily profit- but would like to see properties in used or improved.
15) Metropolitan Development Council
Sandra Burgess, Economic Development Director
Teresa Lemmons, VP Real Estate
Steve Garrett, Board Member, Food Geographer
• TSG discussed the South Carolina Coastal Community Development Corporation, which
was able to receive a $1M USDA grant for the business incubator component of its
farmers market and food center. The BI component included a large commercial kitchen
as well as a business center where tenants/vendors could access on-line linkages to food
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industry databases, food distributors, etc. The BI component helped the smaller vendors
learn to expand their customer base and help with organization/distribution *
*Note: During several of our interviews discussion came up about a similar BI
component for Tacoma, which could feature components unique to “Wired City” such as
access to Click! Internet, and an opportunity for customers to be able to email orders to
the vendors (or a combination of vendors) for quick pick up. TSG believes this component
is worth exploring, and is something consistent with Tacoma’s recent efforts to be at the
forefront of wired technology.
Business Incubator (BI) Component:
• MDC is supporter and sponsor of business incubator efforts at Salishan.
• A “BI” component for the public market could help access additional grant money
• Educational component should be looked into. Contact local culinary schools,
farm/agricultural programs (CWU, WSU, etc).
• MDC might be interested in a housing component, if there were an opportunity. TSG
discussed opportunities for affordable housing for sites that could include the Dome
District, Police Station (Tacoma Ave) site.
• Child Care: look at Pike Place Market daycare center as an example.
Other Grants/ Resources:
• Center for Enterprise Opportunity
• Health & Human Services Grants
• OCS Funding
• Enterprise Community (USDA) Grants
• New Market Tax Credits
16) Tacoma Boys
Paul Heist, Owner
• Has already been courted by the owners of Freighthouse Square. They have not given it
serious consideration, because they don’t want to be the only ones there (i.e. FS needs a
boost and new image.)
• PH said he worked hard to improve the Tacoma Boys image when he purchased them,
and that something similar would have to be done to improve the image of Freighthouse
• They would be interested in participating or anchoring a public market. Thinks that the
city could support it and that it would be good for downtown.
*TSG notes that various stakeholder comments of a similar nature suggest the possibility of
an “image issue” associated with Freighthouse Square. If so, a “re-branding” strategy
would be required to provide a Tacoma Public Market with an independent new/different
17) Freighthouse Square
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Gary Pieterman, Manager
Robert Hardy, Owner
Barry Griffiths, Owner
The owners of FHS expressed some of the challenges of the property, and have already
considered a remodeling/repositioning of the west portion of the structure into the “Freighthouse
Market.” However, they did not indicate a timeline or investment strategy/approach.
• Owners have a similar concept and are very interested in a public market concept.
• Freighthouse Square has lost additional tenants since the new owners took over.
• Would be interested in considering a long term lease, JV and/or sale of that portion of the
• Are very interested in the concept and believe it is most appropriate for their site.
• Willing to talk with City of Tacoma and other stakeholders to see what next steps to take,
what the possible scenarios are, and what resources may be available.
18) Bates Technical College
Cheri Loiland, Director, Instruction, Home & Family Life (including Culinary Arts)
• TSG discussed potential of an educational component (Culinary Arts) as part of the
public market, a concept which is being incorporated into the new Portland and
Bellingham Markets. Public and Farmers Markets can expand their mission, focus and
regional impact by incorporating educational programs from culinary arts to agricultural
programs and food-oriented business incubators.
• BTC’s future focus is to expand their “continuing education” options. They are interested
in economic development and would like to become more actively involved in the greater
• Cheri indicated that they would be very interested in next steps, and being considered for
participation in this concept/project. BTC could be interested in a multitude of food/bio
educational options, which could include classroom space, a test kitchen, training center
and/or a café.
19) Haub Brothers Trust
John Barline, Attorney/Owners Rep
• They are supportive of the concept and feel that Tacoma needs an attraction and amenity
• Believes that a public market downtown would be complementary to what they hope to
develop on their downtown properties, which could include vertical retail and high
• Likes the idea of a market closer to downtown, presumably to help make the area
attractive for other types of retail.
20) LeMay Car Museum
Alan Grant: Project Architect (via phone). The LeMay museum may consider incorporating
some retail/commercial uses. Their site was considered as a possible location for a market
structure and/or outdoor plaza for a farmers market. They are exploring a variety of retail options
at this time.
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Hennery and Rodger Herbert, Partners
Rodger is the lead in the Marcato Development. They currently have 6 phases planned for the
property and are currently in sales on Phase One. Mr. Herbert is interested in the concept of a
public market and suggested that they best location for a market if it were to be put on their
property would be the North East corner of the property in the parking lot of the existing Office
22) Kathy Casey (Kathy Casey Food Studios and Dish D’Lish)
President. Kathy is a local “celebrity chef” and president of Kathy Casey Food Studios, a food
and beverage development, resource and event center located in Seattle. She also owns Dish
D’Lish, a prepared food vendor located at the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and will
soon be opening a second location at SeaTac Airport.
• Kathy in interested and aware of the redevelopment of downtown Tacoma
• Acknowledges that the new upscale restaurants will help develop Tacoma’s reputation as
a culinary hotspot. Believes that the City should really get behind marketing the new
downtown dining scene, especially in lieu of national retailers downtown.
• Would be interested in looking at the concept and possible space when the market is
further under development.
23) Sur La Table
Susan Faw, General Council and VP of Real Estate Development. Sur la Table originated at the
Pike Place Market, and has since grown to become one of the nation’s premiere cookware stores.
• Was surprised to hear of how much development is occurring downtown.
• Believes that Tacoma still has a stigma and needs to work on developing a reputation for
being a “foodie” city.
• Sur La Table locates in cities where they know people like to eat and cook: it will be
important for Tacoma to emphasize the success of the new restaurants, as well as
continued success of upscale grocers such as the Metropolitan Market in Proctor.
• Sur La Table typically looks for a 5,000 sf space. Instead of “national” retailers, Susan
thinks that food-oriented vendors, retailers and other components would prove attractive
to an upscale kitchenware store such as Sur La Table.
• Is interested in taking a look at Tacoma, and would like to be updated as the public
market concept progresses.
24) El Gaucho
Chad Mackay, Operations Manager.
(To be added))
25) Chihuly Inc.
Mary Kiliman, Spokeswomen
• Ms Kiliman was contacted regarding the historic powerhouse located adjacent to the
Streets and Grounds Site. She noted that Mr. Chihuly was currently using the
powerhouse as a shipping and receiving warehouse and had no immediate plans to do
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otherwise. She did however note that Mr. Chihuly would like to see “something special
happen there that benefits Tacoma” eventually.
26) Impact Capital
Roberta Schur, Program Officer
(Impact Capital provides community-based organizations with various tools needed to develop/
promote economic development and to provide vital services in rural, urban, and suburban areas
throughout Washington by leveraging investments, offering tailored loans, and building capacity
through technical assistance and operating support.)
• TSG approached the Seattle office of Impact Capital to establish their initial interest level
in participating in assisting a non-profit organization in establishing a Tacoma Public
Market. The response was supportive. They expressed explicit interest in participating in
a role that considered providing funding and resources needed by a non-profit.
• The list of potential resources Impact Capital might potentially provide is long and
includes: capacity grants; Phase I pre-development loans; Phase II pre-
development loans; subdebt acquisition bridge loans; commercial tenant
• It was suggested that if a non-profit without commercial experience were to engage in
establishing a public market, that it might consider partnering with an entity that did have
relevant commercial experience.
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Appendix III: Johnson Architecture Report
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Each structure’s esthetic brings its own intangible benefit and impact to a potential public
market. From a visual and experiential standpoint, in their current configuration, the
buildings rate as follows: Freighthouse Square, the Petrich Site, and a close tie between
the Bamford Site and Streets and Grounds for first place… The Bamford Site has great
interior space, but Streets and Grounds has a better existing window configuration.
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Appendix IV: National Markets
Ann Arbor Farmers Market, MI; Ann Arbor, Michigan;
315 Detroit Street
Boulder County Farmers market, Boulder, CO;
Boulder County Farmers' Market
P.O. Box 18745
Boulder, CO 80308
Bloomington Community Farmers Market, Bloomington, IN
Showers Building 401 North Morton
P.O. Box 848
Bloomington, IN 47403
Broadway Market, Buffalo, NY;
Chinatown Night Market, San Francisco, CA;
City Market, Kansas City, MO;
3rd to 5th Streets, Kansas City, MO
Crescent City Farmers Market, New Orleans, LA;
Capitol Market Charleston, WV
800 Smith Street
Charleston WV, 25301-1234
Dallas Farmers Market, Dallas, TX;
Dallas Farmers Market
1010 S. Pearl Street
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Dallas, Texas 75201
Dane County Farmers market, Madison, WI;
P.O. Box 1485, Madison, WI 5371-1485
Directors Bill Warner
Judy Hageman (608-424-6714)
Eastern Market (DC), Washington, DC;
7th St. & North Carolina Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
Findlay Market, Cincinnati, OH;
1801 Race St
Cincinnati, OH, 45202
French Market, New Orleans, LA;
French Market: 504-522-2621
Granville Island Market, Vancouver, BC
Granville Island Administration Office
1661 Duranleau Street,
604 666-6655 Tel
604 666-7376 Fax
Italian Market, Philadelphia, PA;
South 9th Street between Wharton and Christian, Philadelphia, PA
Chef' Tour of the Italian Market: 215-772-0739
Ithaca Farmers Market, Ithaca, NY;
Steamboat Landing, 3rd Street, Ithaca, NY
The Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau: 1-800-28-ITHACA
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Lexington Market, Baltimore, MD;
400 W Lexington St
Baltimore MD 21201
Market Street between Union Avenue and Wall Avenue, Knoxville, TN
Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA;
Pike Place Market PDA
85 Pike Street, Room 500
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 682-7453
Fax: (206) 625-0646
Portland Public Market, Portland, OR
City of Portland
Bureau of Planning - Special Projects - Arts & Culture
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4100
Portland, Oregon 97201
Portland Public Market, Portland, ME
Portland Public Market
25 Preble Street
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: (207) 228-2000
Fax: (207) 228-2003
Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, PA;
General Manager: Paul Steinke
Reading Terminal Market,
12th & Arch Streets
Main Number: 215-922-2317
RFK Stadium Farmers Market, Washington, DC;
The Ridge Market
6142 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH
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River market, Little Rock, AR;
Markham and Rock Streets, Little Rock, AR
Parks and Recreation Department: 501-371-4770
Rochester Public Market
280 North Union Street, Rochester, NY
Jim Farr: 585-428-6866
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market, San Luis Obispo, CA;
Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo, CA
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association: 805-541-0286
Just South of Choteau on Broadway-7th Street, St. Louis, MO
Soulard Market Office: 314-622-4180
Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Union Square Greenmarkets, New York, NY;
Union Square Park and Greenmarket
14th Street and Broadway, New York, NY
Washington DC Fish Market
Maine Avenue SE, Washington, DC
Vietnamese Market, New Orleans, LA
West Side Market, Cleveland, OH
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