A year ago, Boston Market was on life support after a fire gutted the landmark market, leaving hundreds of shoppers homeless.
But as 2017 ended and 2018 begins, the market is back in business, according to market managers, vendors and vendors’ groups.
With new owners, a fresh coat of paint and a fresh face, the new owners have promised to reopen the market in 2018.
As they look forward to the end of the year, the next steps in the reopening of the market are being discussed.
In addition to the market reopening, vendors are trying to get in on the ground floor of the next phase of redevelopment: a brand-new food court, a retail plaza that will house some of the city’s largest vendors and restaurants, and a new entertainment district.
And with the help of a $100 million bond program that is expected to be approved in the coming weeks, vendors have a long road ahead.
But if the market can continue to reopen as planned in 2018, vendors say they hope to attract more visitors to the historic Boston Market, which was one of the last surviving public markets in the country.
“I would like to be a part of that revitalization,” said Julie Hahn, a market manager for a vendor group that has been working to reopening the market for years.
The market’s demise was a blow to the city, said Dan Loughran, a spokesman for the city of Boston.
“The market was the heart of the community, and that’s the city that needs the most,” Loughrant said.
The current owners of the Boston market are trying, and Loughrantly said they hope their new efforts will help restore the market to its former glory.
“We’ve been working on a lot of new things, and we’re ready to do that,” Lougrantly told National Geographic.
“In the end, the only thing that we’ve done that’s going to help restore this is get the bond program approved and that they do the right thing.”
What’s going on at the Boston Marketplace?
The Boston Market is in dire need of an overhaul, said Matt O’Connor, a food services manager at the Market.
“It’s an absolute need for a complete renovation,” he said.
At the market, there are no long-term leases, so the market must be re-opened every month, with the aim of reopening in the fall, O’Connell said.
“Every time we open, it’s a different experience,” he told National Magazine.
“This is not a business that can survive a year, it has to be reworked every single day.”
O’Brien says the market’s new owners are working with Boston’s Department of Public Works to create a plan to rebuild the market.
The plan includes a new building that will replace the old building, which had been torn down in the mid-1990s.
“You can imagine the amount of demolition and structural destruction that would take place in order to get the building back on its feet,” O’Brien said.
O’Reilly, who is also a Boston Market vendor, said the new owner plans to make some changes to the existing building to improve the market experience.
For example, a glass wall will be put in place, so vendors will be able to see the market from all angles.
And the market will be moved to a new plaza, where vendors will have the option to create their own stalls and tables.
“When you see a vendor in the street, they can be able go to a table and set up their booth and have a table there,” OReilly said.
There is also the need to install an outdoor terrace, with more tables, booths and seating for the vendors.
The new owners will also be looking to open a larger food court with seating for about 200 people.
“They’re going to be making a lot more money than they were before,” OBrien said.
In order to reopen, the current owners need to secure a $50 million bond from the city.
The bond program will help cover some of these costs, which the city will be asking vendors and the public to donate to the new fund.
The city hopes to have the bond approved by the end to help reopen the marketplace in 2018 with a new plan.
But the next step is finding the funding to complete the project.
Loughrin says the current owner is working with the city to secure funding to finish the project, but that they don’t know when they’ll be able.
“If we can’t get the money, we’re going not be able,” Loure said.
Lougrin says he hopes to be able reopen the Boston Markets in 2018 and the food court in 2019.
“That’s a goal, but we’ll be ready,” he added.
The next step in the revitalization of the Market is to get more people to the Boston markets, which were once filled with shoppers who came to the neighborhood for free