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Restoring Eastern Market

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A fire devastated the historic Eastern Market on Monday, April 30. Mayor Fenty has committed the full efforts of the District Government to restoring this landmark building as quickly as possible. The outdoor portion of the market will open for business May 5, and the Fenty Administration is working to temporarily relocate the indoor vendors during the restoration.

 

“The fire at Eastern Market did not just affect the surrounding neighborhood of Capitol Hill,” Mayor Fenty said. “Residents from around the city are feeling a sense of loss about this cultural and historic marketplace. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from all quarters of the city and across the country.”

 

Eastern Market dates back to 1873, and is the only public market in the District of Columbia in a building constructed for that purpose.

 

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty joined the Capitol Hill community to commit to fully restoring Eastern Market to its original splendor following a devastating fire to the District landmark. Fenty vowed to work closely with community groups to open the outdoor portion of the market this weekend for business as usual and encouraged the entire city to come out and support the market and its vendors.

 

Fenty said the 7th Street closure planned for Sunday’s “Market Day” would be extended to include a Saturday closure to provide additional outdoor vendor space. Temporary sites for relocation of the indoor vendors are being explored by city officials to help vendors maintain economic stability until the structure is restored.

 

“The fire at Eastern Market did not just affect the surrounding neighborhood of Capitol Hill, residents from around the city are feeling a sense of loss about this cultural and historic marketplace. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from all quarters of the city and across the country,” said Mayor Fenty. “We are committed to restoring Eastern Market 100 percent and to putting this market with these vendors where they were and the way it was.”

 

Fenty has committed city resources as well as collaboration with relevant federal agencies during the rebuilding period to help indoor vendors and their employees. In addition to assigning a point person dedicated to project management, city agencies such as the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), Department of Employment Services (DOES), DC Department of Transportation (DDOT), Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Office of Property Management (OPM), and the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services will be available to help vendors during the transition period. Representatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration will be on hand to assist the market vendors with any potential assistance. DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, have pledged support. The Mayor is also working closely with Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells to coordinate ongoing constituent services.

 

Timeline – A pre-existing plan for restoring Eastern Market was already 90 percent complete at the time of the three-alarm fire on Monday. That plan would have called for a year of construction that would have included rolling closures and some relocation. Significant design modifications will now be required extending the timeline to a final completion target of 18-24 months.

 

Temporary Location - The Administration is exploring all possible alternatives for a temporary home for vendors displaced by the fire to help them maintain economic stability.

 

Funding - The Administration has committed to identifying resources to help restore and repair the estimated $20-30 million in damage to Eastern Market. Total funding dollar amount will be determined once all estimates have been made.

 

Rent Payment Suspension – The city will work through the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Property Management to suspend rent payments for the inside vendors.

 

Tax Relief - The Mayor will work in close cooperation with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the City Council to forgive the last quarterly sales tax payment for the inside vendors, which is due May 15, 2007.

 

Help for Vendors

 

Dedicated point of contact: The Mayor has named Harold Pettigrew from the Office of the City Administrator as the project manager in the Rebuild Eastern Market project. Pettigrew will serve as the Administration’s point of contact for vendors, community members and government agencies

 

Needs assessment and case work assistance: The Administration will work with the vendors directly affected by the fire to assess their needs, identify recovery costs and navigate government assistance programs

 

“Office Hours” with DSLBD: The city will hold office hours with representatives from the Small Business Administration to identify loan options and other services that may be available

Donations - All donations will be handled through the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.

 

Visit www.capitolhillcommunityfoundation.org for more information about how you can help.

 

Community Support – The outdoor portion of Eastern Market will be open for business on Saturday, May 5 and for “Market Day” on Sunday, May 6. The street closure scheduled for Sunday on 7th Street will be in place on Saturday to support outdoor expansion. The Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services will be on call to answer questions and support city efforts for restoration.

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