Venice Downtown Reconstruction Project

VENICE, FL (WWSB) – For nearly 20 years the Venice Farmers Market has been at home on Tampa Avenue. But it’ll be moving when the downtown reconstruction project begins on July 9th.

“I think with the scope of the project downtown it only makes sense to be in an interim location while that’s happening,” said Market Manager Lee Perron.

The interim location is just a few blocks west, at City Hall. Perron is excited about the move… but with a stipulation. “I don’t think this is a good long-term location simply because we have a smaller market with smaller crowds during the summer.”

Tampa, Venice and Miami Avenues will be torn up and redone over the next several months. That’s forcing several downtown events to move.

“It’s going pretty well even though as humans we don’t take change real well, everyone is understanding the magnitude and purpose of the project,” said Assistant City Manager Len Bramble.

That being said – when the project is over the city is keen on moving the Farmer’s Market permanently. “If we can make it more enticing in a better location for the Farmer’s Market we’d like to explore those opportunities. And two: we know in the long run the Farmers Market needs to get off west Tampa which is one of our major east/west thoroughfares,” Bramble said.

Perron isn’t against the permanent move. He just doesn’t want the market to stay by City Hall. He wants to go onto Nassau Street. “It’s a perfect fit for us. We’re still downtown, we’re still visible, we have the infrastructure with the parking at Centennial Park and the restrooms located close by.”

Plus Perron points out the market has grown exponentially over the last year.

“We went from 2,300 a week during the February/March timeframe to 5,000 per week. So you’re going to need a location that is going to handle that many vendors and that kind of attendance volume,” Perron said.

The downtown reconstruction project will end sometime around late December or early January.