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Farmers’ Market Building at River Landing

RFP AND LEASE FOR THE FARMERS’ MARKET BUILDING

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was released in December 2018 to seek a proponent to develop, lease and manage the Farmers’ Market Building beginning in June 2019.

During the RFP process, it was determined that significant repairs to the roof were required, and the RFP was cancelled.

Due to the cancellation of the RFP, the lease with the current tenant, Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative Ltd. (SFMCL) was extended through the 2019 growing season and will expire at the end of the year.

ROOF REPAIRS FOR FARMERS’ MARKET BUILDING

Roof repairs are needed to the Farmers’ Market Building due to water issues related to condensation build-up in the building.

The repair work will begin in early 2020, weather permitting and once the building is vacant.

FUTURE TENANCY OF THE FARMERS’ MARKET BUILDING

The current tenant, SFMCL has communicated to the City that they would not be submitting another proposal to occupy the Farmers’ Market Building after 2019, as they want to focus on their core mandate of operating a farmers’ market two or three days a week.

The City’s goal is to establish a food hub and farmers market in the Farmers’ Market Building and Market Square that would be utilized and active at least six-days-a-week.

The City’s objectives of animation and local food production at the Farmers’ Market Building site include:

  • Vendors within the building are open for business at least six-days-a-week, year round.
  • The site is a ‘food hub,’ utilizing the commercial kitchen within the building and/or operating food stalls/restaurants where a variety of food and beverage products are offered to ensure a wide range of customers.
  • A farmers’ market entity operate at the site.
  • An overall focus on local food production and products that complement each other.

The City is currently focused on the roof repairs, but is exploring multiple options for future tenants, such as undertaking either a Request for Proposal process or a sole source approach. Which procurement option the City will proceed with will be determined by a number of factors, including the level of interest shown in occupying the Farmers’ Market Building site.     

History of the Farmers' Market Building

The River Landing Phase II redevelopment project was designed to enhance the sustainability of downtown by reclaiming and developing the A.L. Cole "brownfield" and surrounding area - literally the front yard of Saskatoon’s downtown and one of the main entries to core neighbourhoods.

After extensive review and public consultation, the South Downtown Concept Plan was approved by City Council in 2004. The Concept Plan is the cornerstone and framework for development for River Landing.

The redevelopment included the reclamation and conversion of an old City-owned electrical building into a farmers’ market, business centre (incubator), and village square.

Lease Negotiations

The City has had Lease and Operating Agreements with the Saskatoon Farmers' Market Cooperative Ltd. for the Farmer's Market Building since April 2007.

As part of lease negotiations, City Administration met with representatives from the SFMCL on several occasions to discuss animation, usage of the space, future vision, and to ask for a business plan from SFMCL outlining their proposed approach to increase animation and activity for the next lease before reporting to Committee.

The concern with the current arrangement is that other than on market days, the Farmers’ Market Building has not achieved the animation that was expected by this point in time in the previous lease and the original concept plan for the space.

The annual rent for the Farmers’ Market Building is $10.00; SFMCL is responsible for payment of all operating costs, utilities, and property taxes for the Farmers’ Market Building.  As an aspect of the rent, the Farmers’ Market is also responsible for the maintenance reserve contribution that is required for all civic buildings (being 1.2 per cent of the new replacement value of the Farmers' Market building). 

See Highlights of Previous Lease Terms with the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market Co-operative Limited 

Site Use / Animation

The current lease outlined the Hours of Operation - The SFMCL committed to ensure the premise was operating at least between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Tuesday to Friday; Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Wherever possible, the SFMCL would provide additional hours during weekdays, particularly during the summer months.

Animation of the Site - The SFMCL committed to ensuring the building was being utilized at or near capacity.  Since 2010, the SFMCL has diversified and is an event rental facility, hosts special events, and operates a licensed commercial kitchen for rental and demonstrations.  The SFMCL has several permanent subtenants, which have fixed food service booths within the Farmers’ Market building. As well, the SFMCL continues to use, on a seasonal basis, the Market Square.