Local Business to Develop Eastern Market Strategic Plan

Eastern Market Report: October 18

1211
Eastern Market. Photo: Andrew Lightman.

Architrave Selected by DGS to Define Future Direction

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) met on October 16 in the North Hall. EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder introduced the members of the newly selected grantee, Architrave P.C., recipients of a $300,000 grant whose purpose is to develop a strategic plan for the Eastern Market.

A strategic plan is an organization’s process of defining its strategy or direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy.

This funding was secured by Councilmember Charles Allen to help the Market as it faces future challenges.

Architrave (420 Tenth St. SE) is a Capitol Hill business that has been tasked with presenting a 21st vision for the Market. Founded in 1975, Architrave clients listed on the company website include the Architect of the Capitol, the Smithsonian and the National Park Service.

Robert Weinstein, Owen Weinstein and Scott Betz of Architrave traded places in answering questions from both EMCAC and the community. Betz described himself as both an architect and a planner and stated that Architrave‘s first task would be to do a lot of ‘listening’ and to secure ‘stakeholder engagement.’ He promised a “plan and not just a document that would sit on a shelf.”

Betz stated that the Architrave team’s first move would be “to establish a website,” saying that “where we are now is in a state of mobilization.“

A salient point in the ensuing discussion was made by EMCAC member Tom Kuchenberg, who emphatically reminded the Architrave representatives that when challenges are undertaken in regard to the Market those engaged are too often unacquainted with the Eastern Market legislation. He encouraged the grantees to give it serious study.

Pointing out that the project period is for one year, Owen Weinstein reassured EMCAC and community members that the company would “not disappear and return in a year with a surprise document,” but rather that Architrave would be in constant touch with updates for EMCAC and the community.

Market Managers Report

Market Manager Barry Margeson reported that July revenue was $60,131, down from the same month in FY18. On the other hand, August revenue was up 24 percent, coming in at $80,599. Overall the two traditionally strong summer month’s revenue totaled $140,730, up 8% from FY18.

North Hall private bookings and community use totaled $24,138. That number is not expected to raise during the upcoming election. The North Hall is precluded from booking political events because it is a District-owned property and is denied that significant source of revenue, although Capitol Hill is the site of year-round fund raising.

Leases and Parking

The deadline for the South Hall merchants to obtain an appraisal that will be used in their own rental assessment, the last piece in negotiations for a lease sought by the merchants, is November 2.

During a discussion of parking, Margeson conceded that the arrangements that offered discounted validated parking at 700 Penn to weekend customers had fallen flat. That program was part of an agreement which secured community support for the Hine School Project.

At a previous meeting, Margeson suggested that the merchants who complain of lack of parking for their customers had not fully embraced the subsidized parking plan.

Margeson stated there is a new voucher parking program coming that allows for discounts with the Colonial Parking lot. He suggested that parking space was closer to the Market, noting that the arrangement with 700 Penn “did not fly.”