Monday, October 19, 2015

Columbia Market House Trust RFQ released


The Columbia Market House Trust (Trust) is seeking developers' Statements of Qualifications to assist the trust in re-purposing, redeveloping and managing the Market House as the centerpiece of Downtown Columbia. The Market House is owned by the Borough and managed by the Trust, a non-profit volunteer group.

The purpose of this Request for Qualification or "RFQ," is to identify the developer that would provide the best fit for achieving the development goals established by the Trust and the Borough of Columbia for the historic Columbia Market House. This approach is based on the premise that this type of development is relationship based and not merely a transaction.


The complete RFQ can be viewed HERE.

(The last page features a QR code that can be scanned - and a URL - to access Jerry Musser's "drone's-eye" video of Columbia.)

19 comments:

  1. The Market House is owned by the TAX PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN!!!

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    1. ABSOLUTELY agree....not a select few with their own agenda.

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  2. Hmmmmm.....so here we go. A direct quote from the RFQ........
    "Use proposals are not to be limited to the historic purpose of the Market House—a fresh food vendor market. In fact, the Trust is seeking creative ideas for the use of the historic Market House—uses, which are viable long-term, will be a catalyst for other development Downtown and energize the Downtown more frequently throughout the week. In this sense, the Market House will be a true anchor to the Downtown. In opening up the use of the Building to more broad and creative thinking, the Trust is recognizing that the concept could be uses other than the traditional vendor concept—food, no food or a mix—and could be a single user of the space or a very few sub-tenants....".
    Seems apparent that the Trust(or at least some Trust members) are NOT interested in having a Market House like Lancaster's, but instead maybe, shall we say.....an art gallery, artist showcase, antique vendors. I think the motive is quite simply personal and NOT as it was portrayed or managed the past few years. "Leaders or persons of interest" with hidden/personal objectives will run a business into the ground so that there is no hope and the business will fail, then those same "leaders or persons of interest" will all of a sudden get to acquire and run the business as they see fit....exactly what is happening here. A simple solution would be to just fill the market with vendors, once the people start to come, then selectively replace vendors as they no longer wish to retain their spot. The problem with the market house is quite simply NO vendor wants to come to a empty building and the Trust is purposely snowballing it to get what they want.....not a typical farmers market, a art gallery.

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  3. The RFQ does look well done.

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  4. I would like to know how much money was put in this Market in the last 10 years! I know one thing, its in the 10's of thousands!!

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  5. i thought that the Market HAD to remain a Market. Or close. and yes i agree...the Market House belongs to EVERY TAXPAYER IN THIS TOWN. not select few with a personal agenda and an agenda that the majority of us taxpayers do NOT want.

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  6. Some of you people really need to get a life.... I'm so tired of hearing a select few of you bitch and complain about the market house, one in which very few of u support the vendors that are currently there.... And stop bringing up the idea of it becoming an art gallery just because one of the members on trust is a gallery owner..... It wouldn't be a bad thing if it did happen, which it won't.... But this town needs more art galleries and restaurants.... Not the sh*t hole shops the columbia natives think they know how to run and then go out of business... Examples being the coffee bar, columbia comes and more... And that list can go on and on... This town is revitalizing itself and if u don't like it move away..far away

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    1. Revitalizing itself? Hah! Are you kidding? Take off the blinders and see this town for what it is.

      A few more art galleries and restaurants are not going to save this town. But you can go ahead and pretend that it will. The market is a failure. Put a door on it and park the police cars in it. Then it would at least have a purpose.

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    2. Taxes are through the roof! The people that have been here in business for years are very well off money wise because of all the tax breaks they get!! Most of these people live out of town but have rental properties here! most are section 8's!! Now you tell me about who is benefiting in this town!!! Also very low paying jobs here!!

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    3. I will support the vendors when they offer a product of interest, until that happens, no I won't. Anything else is false hope.

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  7. I'm just wondering why none of you people that choose to comment about the Market or about the Trust have the crust to give your name!! I'm sure you all have a good reason. I have enjoyed going to the Market when it was busy and even when it was struggling here of late. I saw the Market go downhill ever since the Trust took over. I've had the opportunity to talk to two members of the Trust over the last couple years and have heard some encouraging things from both of them. Trouble is,.....nothing has happened yet to turn things around. But let's not give up hope. Goods things take time. What DID draw people in to the Market was the ability for them to get good food!!! Rap's World, TJ's, and others. Once you can get people IN to the Market House, then they are able to walk around and support the other vendors. But if there's nothing there that they want, they're not going to come in! So,....if the Trust's ideas for the success of the Market aren't the same as what we all think is best,...well,...maybe,...just maybe, it would be wise to give them a chance to initiate their "new way of thinking". The only thing I am not understanding is why there "new ideas" haven't been initiated years ago when things started to go downhill? :(

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    1. To my understanding, due to the conditions set forth with the grant monies the Trust has recv'd, the are strict guidelines as to how many food vendors are actually allowed. SUCKS if true. It does appear true though, otherwise why wouldn't there be 10-20 people interested in food stands there? It is somewhat mesmerizing that with the recent great influx of food wagons/street type vendors/and just people that want to start a food business that they are not in the Market house??? Again, I myself would love the idea of having 10-20 different food stands: subs, deli sandwiches,salads, bbq, hot dogs, soups, crepes that would provide the anchor needed. Open Thurs-Sat. As far as someone chiming in that "there isn't any infrastructure: water, sewer, at each stand" is simply hogwash right now. Plenty of stands at Lancaster market, Roots, Green Dragon, etc serve great food without all the kitchen amenities. I think to redo the Market House infrastructure after a resurgence in vendors justifies it is a good idea. Think big but start small.

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  8. So the RFQ that the Trust is in search of getting. Has it been submitted / publish in papers so that interested parties could apply? If so, Is there a link to it for review of it, when it was published, and get information on how to apply?
    Thank you,

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  9. I'm happy to comment with my real name, Ed. Perhaps those "ideas" were the cause of the downfall? I don't know, I wasn't following closely, then. But with the chicken or the egg problem, why not fill up the market house with any, and all vendors? Then, maybe you can "filter" it a bit. When it's a vibrant place. Don't worry, if the people come for "whatever," the food people will come, too.

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  10. The "chicken / egg " situation is a problem and has been for awhile. In saying that there are currently 10 permanent vendors / businesses at the market house. There are vendor that want to come to market but not everyday or just want to come on special events ( Floating Vendors). Vendors do want to come to market and be part of a great thing but don't want to take that chance due to the support being lacking and the bad rap "The Market House" has gotten over the years not because of things that were getting done or not done by "The Trust" it's all the negativity that is expelled with no restlessness or caring of the fallout or collateral damage it might or has had on the occupants that rent spaces for their businesses... When stone are thrown at the "Trust" it's not hurting them it's hurting The Market House and the businesses in there. Most of the businesses in there rely on their business to make a living and by throwing out negativity people are purposely destroying businesses... Put down the stones, come out from behind the bushes and help in making Market and Columbia great again. Dare ya!
    With current vendors, Columbia business leaders, new Trust members, small dedicated customer support base, and a new attitude about things change is happening and things are turning around not at everyone pace like they would see it like yesterday done but its getting there...
    No one can predict the future and sure can't life in the past... The time is now to make the market something spectacular, grand, the center point of locals and visitors to come shop & take in the beauty for this awesome building and turn this around...
    It a little nerving on what the future holds especially for me. I have invested and taken root at market as a business as many businesses have done but I nor anyone can predict where things will be at end of it all but I would hope there would be consideration to all who has invest their business and support in Market House. If it doesn't happen and I have to move on I will not be discouraged. I will reinvent, revitalize reinvest, efforts and take the business to another location in the downtown not get all sour and bitter about the situation as many as done due to short falls...
    SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT is what is needed.
    Come see this week at market of whats going on and what businesses/vendors are there at The Columbia Market House's "Fall Event" and see what's being offered. It's a 3 day event (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) so people should be able to fit it into their schedule...

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  11. Its to late! this town is going bankrupt!!

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  12. ^^^ So not true... Go away with your downerism "Mr. It's to late"

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  13. its WAY TOO late. shoppedat market for years every week, spent 10-30 $$$. too much drama, bs and personal agendas. so think again mr know it all NOT

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