Public market delayed

Port Orchard residents will have to wait awhile longer for the planned Port Orchard Public Market.

Don Ryan, the President of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association, said the 8,000 square-foot market planned for 715 Bay St., won’t open July 1 weekend like originally scheduled. In fact, if organizers of the market perform all the renovations necessary to the old building, Ryan said, the market might not open until spring 2013.

“If we choose to do all of the renovations, not 70 percent but 100 percent, we won’t be able to open this summer,” Ryan said.

Jennifer Hardison, the executive director of the South Kitsap Helpline, said a delayed opening date won’t affect Helpline’s plans to operate a vegetable starts and fresh greens booth in the market. She said it will allow Helpline to make sure their greenhouses and growing capabilities are up to speed, so they can provide fresh produce on a daily basis.

“We’re still on board, we’re still excited,” Hardison said. “Right now we are trying to make sure we have a consistent stream of things ready for the market everyday.”

The first step in renovating the old Slip 45 building into an expansive, remodeled open-air market has taken longer than expected, Ryan said. The building, owned by multi-millionaire microbiologist Mansour Samadpour, needed a lot of work in the demolition phase. Asbestos found in the ceiling and other time consuming issues pushed a demolition that was scheduled for a couple of weeks to more than a month, Ryan said.

“We thought the demo would happen really quick,” he said. “It slowed us down for over a month. We just want to make sure we are doing things right.”

Ryan affirmed that the delay in renovation would not jeopardize the viability of a Port Orchard market, meant to resemble a small version of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Vendors are all still on board, Ryan said, and permits for the market have been supported and streamlined by city administrators.

A delay will allow for more work on the building, Ryan said. With an opening date of next spring, the building could undergo a complete renovation, as opposed to a partial renovation that was scheduled for an opening date of July 1.

“We’re a little bummed we can’t hit our target, but we are actually going to do more with the building by having this delay,” Ryan said.

Ryan will meet Samadpour in the coming weeks to set a new timetable for completion of the market. Ryan said in recent weeks two prospective vendors have come forward and talked to him about renting a booth in the market.

“Some of them (the vendors) are even a little relieved that we’re not trying to rush the project,” he said.


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