The Downtown Farmers' Market is part of the quality of life in Santa Cruz. It happens each Wednesday afternoon on the public parking lot at Cathcart and Cedar Street, which is the proposed location for the new library mixed-use building. A new permanent, dedicated space for the Farmers' Market is proposed nearby at Cathcart and Front Streets. The new space will include covered market space to allow for four-season functionality and other amenities, and will allow the market to grow wit the needs of its customers and farmers. The City is proud to partner with the Downtown Farmers' Market, which supports the establishment of a permanent home.
The City has been in on-going discussions with SCCFM since late summer 2017, working to establish a permanent home for the Downtown Farmers’ Market which would include facilities and amenities to meet their long-term needs and projected growth.
Parking lot #7 at the corner of Front Street and Cathcart Street was identified as a promising location for a permanent Downtown Farmers’ Market. The shape and size of the lot is ideally suited for a single story multi-purpose venue anchored by the weekly farmers’ market. Parking lot #7 is conveniently located adjacent to the Soquel parking structure and across the street from existing retail and a proposed residential development with a direct linkage through a planned public pedestrian corridor to the Riverwalk.
The existing market location covers roughly 50,000 square feet. The proposed location is a little over 40,000 square feet, but has the potential to be combined with a portion of the adjacent New Seasons parking lot on Wednesday afternoons to provide a comparable site roughly equivalent to the current site. This combined space would be sufficient to accommodate the existing 67 market vendors in a number of different layouts as well as their associated vendor trucks. Future efficiencies or offsite parking of vendor trucks could result in additional space for vendor growth as well as consideration of temporary street closures enabling future expansion. Preliminary design discussions have explored multiple open air cover possibilities that range from a more permanent roof structure to a more temporary and adaptable canvas cover. Discussions with SCCFM are on-going, but the board is “very excited and hopeful about the possibilities of the
proposed Front Street site.”
At the June 19th City Council Meeting, Council voted to pursue an agreement with the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market for
development of a permanent downtown farmers’ market on City-owned property facing Cathcart and Front Streets.
The City is working with the owners of the parking lot behind New Leaf to secure use of a portion of the lot on Wednesday afternoons, for use by the Farmers' Market.