By Paul Gessler

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Construction on the new Lexington Market is well under way, and as the project’s completion nears, vendors hoping to move in have just days until the first wave of applications is due.

The application period closes Friday for a spot in the new market building. The $40 million project will create a new market next door where the parking lot once was. Once completed, it will have space for around 50 permanent vendors.

Minas Houvardas, whose Market Bakery has been a staple at Lexington Market for 45 years, applied to move his stall next door when the new market opens. He described the market as a museum of sorts for the city’s history.

“We are here, the same spot for so many years,” he said.

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Pickett Slater Harrington with Seawall is tasked with helping determine the dozens of vendors to fill the new market.

“The market is about wealth creation, so we want to improve the number of Black-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and city residents-owned businesses,” Harrington said.

They also want to see vendors with variety and diversity that are also representative of the city’s culture.

“Lexington Market is not just about the four walls of the market. It’s about the city of Baltimore. It’s Baltimore’s market,” Peter DiPrinzio with Seawall Development said.

The pandemic has affected the businesses inside but not the construction timeline; it’s set to open in early 2022.

“That same energy, vibrance, history, and culture of Lexington Market will be embedded in that new space,” Harrington said.

Developers hope the new market serves as an anchor downtown and helps revitalize the once-thriving Howard Street corridor.

“If Lexington Market is going to be successful, then the community around Lexington Market also has to thrive,” Harrington said.

The fate of the current building has not yet been decided. The city owns it and will work with the community on how to use it beyond 2022.

Paul Gessler

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