Ocala Downtown Market set to open September 3rd
This Market, the vision of the City of Ocala and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP), is designed to serve as a social gathering space where memories are made and small retail businesses can flourish.
The current market, operated by the Downtown Business Alliance, started in the downtown square and when the square was renovated, it was moved to the old “Chamber lot.” This Chamber lot will soon be the site of the new downtown hotel, causing the market to need to relocate.
The new location, a former truck shed adjacent to the Power Plant Business Incubator, was determined to be the perfect area for the market.
Renovations to the shed (now known as the Market Pavilion) include electric, water, ADA compliant restrooms, lighting, ventilation fans, Wi-Fi, a concrete floor, and installation of a small playground at the south end of the location. A portable stage will be available for entertainment. Beautiful landscaping such as lemon trees and a grape arbor will also be added.
The Downtown Market will be managed by the CEP as part of its efforts to further business creation in Marion County.
With the Market’s new location comes the extension of the types of vendors hosted here. People can visit food trucks as well as vendors who sell prepared foods. The ability to purchase prepared foods and drinks was one of the greatest requests the CEP had in their customer surveys. It is the goal for the Market to serve as an experience that customers can enjoy for several hours each week.
The beauty of the new location is that it is a mixed use facility. The venue can be rented for fundraisers, parties and wedding receptions in the future, and the stage makes it ideal for musical performances.
The Market’s coordinators want to be able to have additional Market days besides Saturday to continue making it convenient for customers. In 2017, they plan to add an evening market from 4-7 pm, and eventually add additional days and times.
Below is the traffic map and location of the Ocala Downtown Market.