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City Committee asking to explore increased use of Farmers’ Market Building

For immediate release: September 13, 2018 - 5:26pm

A City Committee is asking City Council to green-light a plan seeking a tenant to develop and manage a six-day-a-week public and farmers’ market in the Farmers’ Market Building at River Landing.   As the current lease is set to expire in the spring with the current tenant, a report considered by the Planning, Development & Community Services Committee would like City Council to endorse issuing a Request for Proposal this fall.

“It’s been ten years since the Farmers’ Market Building was converted from an electrical utility building,” says Brenda Wallace, Director, Environmental and Corporate Initiatives. “Saskatoon, its food scene, and the River Landing precinct, has undergone vast changes in that time.

“The original concept plan for River Landing outlined ambitious dreams for this space and the City wants to determine if we can move closer to realizing them with increased market days and activity in the building”

The City has undertaken lease renewal negotiations with the current tenant of the building, the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative Ltd. (SFMCL), which had submitted a business plan. Its plan anticipates providing an eventual increased number of days each week in which some market and program activities would occur, however, full animation of the site as originally envisioned would not be achieved.

“Through an RFP, we’re hoping to make it very clear what the expectations and hopes are for the building and to identify an entity best-positioned to bring a vibrant market to our residents and visitors,” Wallace says.

If approved at City Council, Administration will issue a Request for Proposals in fall of this year. The current Lease and Operating Agreement for the Farmers’ Market Building expires in May 2019.

River Landing, through the Farmers’ Market, supports the Strategic Goal of Quality of Life by ensuring facilities are accessible and meeting community needs. As a cultural, recreational, and market centre, River Landing invites citizens and visitors alike to enjoy the natural beauty and benefits of parks, trails, and other amenities that bring people together.