The Glendale Farmers Market is moving to a new location in the new year, and the Downtown Glendale Assn. confirmed its plans to take over management of the market in 2014.
Tim Gallagher, spokesman for the association, said beginning on the first Thursday of January, the market will move into the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Glendale at Maryland Avenue just above Wilson Avenue. The market is currently located on a busy stretch of sidewalk on Brand Boulevard.
“It's a fairly generous parking lot, there's room for 100 or so vendors,” he said. “It won't have the same problem you have where you're fighting for sidewalk space with everybody else.”
The Downtown Glendale Assn. is a nonprofit group that administers the Downtown Glendale Business Improvement District, with funds collected from businesses in the district.
City officials earlier this month authorized $20,000 for the operation of the market through the end of the year, although if the association takes over the market in January as planned, not all of that will be spent.
City spokesman Tom Lorenz said that because the funding for the market's current contract has to be authorized annually, the city would simply not provide funding once the association takes over.
“We don't make any money off of it,” he said. “It's just something to attract people into the downtown area.”
Since 2000, the market has been managed for the city by Christopher Nyerges of the School of Self Reliance in Eagle Rock, whose contract expires in 2014.
The market currently brings a collection of vendors who sell fresh fruit, vegetables and other produce to a stretch of Brand Boulevard from Wilson Avenue to Broadway each Thursday.
Gallagher said that the reason behind the move was to give the market its own dedicated space so that it can expand its offerings to include prepared food options and more organic produce to attract more lunchtime business.
“Frankly, we want more of those people who work in those office buildings to shop downtown,” he said. “How are we going to get people to stay here, shop here, spend their money in downtown Glendale?”
The market has between 20 and 40 vendors from week to week, Gallagher said.