Baltimore’s Lexington Market will undergo a $40 million redevelopment that could include an arena liquor license and expanded hours for its food vendors.
Last month, the Baltimore Public Markets Corp. announced a plan to build a new, 97,000-square-foot market on a surface parking lot next to the current structure, which will likely begin in a year and take up to two years to complete. After the new structure is built, the existing market will be demolished. The build-then-raze plan allows vendors to continue to operate during construction.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan pledged $7 million in financing for the market with remaining funding to come from grants, loans and contributions. Building a new structure has its critics, but renovating the existing building would have cost twice as much and displaced businesses multiple times, noted Dave O’Donnell in local news reports.
While the current market hosts 102 vendors, the redeveloped market hopes to draw more diverse vendors and will remain open until at least 9 p.m. to capture happy hour and the pre-theater crowd for the Hippodrome or Everyman Theater. An arena liquor license will alleviate the burden of individual merchants having to apply for their won liquor licenses.
Phase Two of the project is expected to begin in 2020 or 2021 and cost about $4.5 million. It will add a farmers’ market and park that will allow patrons to enjoy their purchases outside.
Lexington Market’s redevelopment is the latest in a string of food market developments: R. House in Remington and Mount Vernon Marketplace are the two latest markets to open within the last 18 months.