NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: Long Range Plans for the State Farmers Market

There seems to be some misinformation making the rounds about the State Farmers Market in Raleigh. A public relations campaign with a petition, signs and brochures wants people to think the State Farmers Market in Raleigh is in danger of being closed and converted into luxury apartments and townhomes. That simply is not true. Long range plans focus on enhancing the market experience for shoppers and for the farmers who sell their fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.

  • People around the Raleigh area may have recently seen signs that seem to indicate the State Farmers Market needs “saving.”
  • Those signs and even a petition are part of a coordinated public relations campaign over a recently released long-range master plan that explores ways to enhance the market experience for consumers and farmers in light of the future development of Dix Park into a city destination.
  • People have been quick to read the headlines, but they haven’t looked closely at the details in the master plan.
  • The PR campaign would have you believe that the farmers market and farmers that sell there would be replaced by high-end, luxury condos, which simply isn’t true.
  • Nothing in the master plan calls for replacing the farmers market or its buildings with condos.
  • I am thrilled that so many people have responded so positively to the petition wanting to save the State Farmers Market. It is clear a lot of people love the market, love shopping directly with farmers and love knowing they have access to some of the freshest produce, meats and seafood around.
  • I encourage every one of them to continue to shop the market and to continue to support North Carolina farmers. The support from shoppers over the years is the reason this farmers market is so successful and their support will ensure its future success as well.
  • If we are going to continue to grow and meet the needs of consumers, we will need to continue to invest in improvements at the market and we will have to be aware of our neighbors, including Dix Park.
  • Dix Park offers the potential for many new opportunities for collaboration and growth. The master plan was created to show what that could look like down the road.
  • Since the State Farmers Market property adjoins the Dix property, naturally there is interest in how these two destinations might grow together in the future.
  • The petition and signs were created by some of the wholesale businesses that sell produce at the farmers market. The master plan proposes moving those businesses to create a more inviting entrance to the market from Dix Park. Revamping the warehouses could lead to spaces for more restaurants, sandwich and retail shops.
  • As a shopper on the market, members of the public likely haven’t seen or used the wholesale side of the market, as these businesses focus on larger bulk purchases.
  • It is important to note that this part of the master plan is in Phase 5, likely 30 to 40 years from now, and would likely come with a very hefty price tag – somewhere in the range of $60 to $90 million.
  • No money has been allocated for any portion of the master plan at this point, nor has a timeline been developed.
  • The goal of this master plan is to enhance the market, not to diminish it in any way.
  • We value all of our tenants and their contributions to the market’s success. State law requires that business space be leased for fair market value. With ongoing development interest in the area around the farmers market and Dix Park, it is easy to envision a day where a fair market value lease may not make the most business sense.
  • The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services does not own the market property. It is owned by the state, and the state is ultimately the landlord.
  • I’d expect there may be changes over time, as there always has been. But know that I am committed to making those changes as favorable to the market and agriculture as possible.
  • Our focus is on ensuring there is a viable farmers market that serves the needs of consumers and farmers. Again, the success of this market will be determined by the support of consumers.
  • Keep shopping at the market and keep supporting N.C. farmers.