Ag Commissioner says State Farmer’s Market ‘isn’t going anywhere’ but needs changes

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The State Farmer’s Market draws nearly 3-million people per year, so when concern started to grow about the possibility of the market being replaced by new development CBS 17 had questions.

No matter where you live in the Triangle it’s hard to miss signs aimed at saving the State Farmers Market.

“If there are overtures from the city, the Governor, or the legislature, anybody who wants to sell this market I will be the loudest voice you ever hear,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I would be asking farmers to bring their tractors to protest to Raleigh.”

While the Farmers Market isn’t going anywhere Commissioner Troxler admits changes are needed.

“This area is a hot area for real estate development,” said Troxler. “It will affect us here at the market. We can’t operate in a vacuum.”

“The market is going to be here, but it won’t be the same market that everyone knows and loves,” said wholesaler Vaughn Ford.

In an effort to increase foot traffic a four-phase plan seeks to connect the Farmers Market to condos at Dix Park, but would eliminate the wholesale operations in the process.

“Revamping the wholesale space would lead to spaces for more restaurants, agricultural products, butchers, and cheese shops,” said Troxler.

Troxler says any development would take millions in investment and could be decades down the road.

“This is not a fast-tracked timetable,” said Troxler.

“We still have our same concerns,” said Ford.

Among wholesaler Vaughn Ford’s concerns are the people who drew the plan for development in the first place.

“There’s a lot of developers on that board,” said Ford. “We feel like it wouldn’t take a whole lot for any of them to write a check to make this happen.”

Since Troxler maintains a seat on that board CBS17 asked if any overtures had been made by developers.

“My chief deputy has been contacted a couple of times by developers, but we are not going to break these leases,” said Troxler.

“We appreciate the commissioner coming and talking, but I don’t think it’s really changed anyone’s opinion about what’s happening,” said Ford.

“We appreciate the commissioner coming and talking, but I don’t think it’s really changed anyone’s opinion about what’s happening,” said Ford.

Click here for a summary of the master plan.

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