Soulard Farmer’s Market Worried About Competition In Lafayette Square

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The developer for the St. Louis Food Hub hoped to get his zoning permit application approved Thursday.  That did not happen. 

The vendors of the Soulard Farmer’s Market Association take a lot of pride in working there but they are afraid their days could be numbered if a competing market, called the St. Louis Food Hub, has its way.  The association says the new owners of the now-closed Sappington Market applied for zoning permits to open a new business about four blocks to the west of Soulard Market.

Some who work and live near Soulard spoke up at Thursday’s hearing and said they did not want the new market.

If it ever gets built, the new market will be part of the City Hospital redevelopment in Lafayette Square, just a few blocks west of Soulard Market.

Developer Chris Goodson told the St. Louis City Zoning Department the new market would resemble a Trader Joe’s and be an enclosed full-service grocery store.  Even though there would be a garden on the property, there would not be an open-air farmer’s market like Soulard.

That garden was just one item that triggered opposition from neighbors and members of the Soulard Farmers Market Association. Members say they would be happy to see a grocery store in the area, but are worried the plan for the Food Hub would overlap with the Soulard Farmers Market.

“This is one more opportunity to bring people down to the area, one more opportunity for people to drive past Soulard Market that may not have heard of it,” explained City Hosptial Developer Chris Goodson.

Concerned resident Mark Sarich said Soulard Market has thrived on the economic diversity of its customers.  He believed the development would attract customers with more disposable income away from Soulard and hurt revenues.

Association members are also worried about the Foob Hub offering services seven days a week, especially since Soulard Market is not open on Sunday and cannot take advantage of revenue from that big grocery shopping day.

“To provide a business that responds to a need that’s already being responded to, really you can only look two ways at it,” Sarich said.  “One is that it’s completely unnecessary and the other that it’s a hostile act.”

Goodson said the project could get $5 million in tax increment financing.  Farmers Market Association members also object to that.

Goodson said the food hub would source produce from Soulard and ship it to area schools through the on-site distribution center.

Sarich thinks the project will also bring traffic congestion.

Members asked for more time to meet with Goodson and his team before the city granted a zoning permit.  The department agreed.  Goodson and his partners will now wait about a month for a decision on the food hub.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News