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Penn Market looking for new direction under RDA
The York City Redevelopment Authority is the proud new owner of Penn Market, after taking over the property’s deed several weeks ago.
The 151-year-old institution has struggled to make necessary capital improvements in recent years, but the backing of the city authority will help restore the market as an anchor of the WeCo — West of Codorus — neighborhood, Next Move Marketing President Christian Wagman said after announcing the deal Monday.
York City Mayor Kim Bracey said she is excited by the RDA’s purchase of the market and feels a “positive energy” building about the market’s future.
The RDA is retaining ownership of the market, but several experts and “market masters” will be hired to run operations, she said.
Wagman said officials are partnering with The Food Trust, a national organization working to broaden access to healthy and affordable food, for guidance in tapping into the market’s unrealized potential.
City and market officials have “no desire to change it into anything drastically different” than what it is now, but they are exploring options on how a market revamp can best serve the community, she said.
The plan is to “really assess and understand the market before they dive in,” Wagman said.
The RDA took temporary ownership of Penn Market in October as officials began planning for extensive renovation work.
Shilvosky Buffaloe, who oversees the RDA in his role as interim director of the city's department of community and economic development, said in October that the RDA's goal is to help secure funding and complete renovation work before handing the deed back to the board that runs Penn Market.
Community support: Built in 1866, Penn Market still serves a gathering place for many residents in western York City, and the market offers them a place to find fresh, locally sourced meats and produce as well as prepared goods, Wagman said.
The process of updating Penn Market will not happen overnight, she said, asking for continued community support for the lengthy project.
When renovations are complete and Penn Market has found its new direction, officials believe the market will be on the same level as York City’s oft-lauded Central Market, Wagman said.
If Penn Market can be restored to even half of its heyday peak, “that bodes well for everyone,” Bracey said.
The RDA is expected to announce further details of its purchase and revamp plans at a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday at Penn Market, 380 W. Market St.