Aug 25, 2008: Open & On Target at Eastern Maket

WASHINGTON, DC (August 25, 2008)-- Reconstruction of Eastern Market is on schedule and on budget for a grand reopening next summer, according to reports last month following a construction site tour arranged by the DC Office of Property Management.

The tour, attended by DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Council Member Tommy Wells and other city officials, was widely covered by local media and highlighted "the wonderful progress we continue to see weekly," according to Tom Rall, manager of The Flea Market at Eastern Market on Sundays.

"The city is really fulfilling its promises for both construction of a temporary building for displaced merchants and for a thoughtful restoration of the historic building itself," praised Rall. "New windows throughout the building and addition of a South Hall skylight are going to recreate a light and airy environment for the reopening."

In the meantime, the East Hall, where the merchants moved to a location across the street, has already been open for more than a year and recently expanded hours "to serve you better," wrote Merchant Mike Bowers.

"Crowds have also been returning on the weekends," said Rall, who attributes some of that to city advertising that has attracted both "Europeans taking advantage of a favorable exchange rate and metropolitan customers who thought we were closed" following the fire at the end of April 2007.
View the Office of Property Management reconstruction webcam: OPM webcam

"We also got a boost from the Travel Channel," said Rall, noting that a Washington, DC edition of "Samantha Brown's Passport to Great Weekends" had an initial airing on the cable network August 7 and included an Eastern Market segment.

"Travel Channel viewers have been emailing to see if they can contact an exhibitor who was featured," said Michael Berman, director of communications.

The show's Associate Producer Michael Petrella reported to us that "it was a very popular episode" and should be rerun soon.
Here's where the schedule will be posted: Travel Channel schedule

Berman, who also heads our associate company, Diverse Markets Management (DMM), wanted us to remind both potential customers and exhibitors that DMM recently announced the fourth annual Downtown Holiday Market, which is cosponsored by the Downtown Business Improvement District.

"This year we continue to build our very successful event with more days, an enhanced selling environment and an expanded footprint," he wrote.

The market will open Friday, December 5th, and will run continuously through Tuesday, December 23rd. Hours will be from 12pm-8pm each day. It will again be located on the wide sidewalk of F Street, this year stretching from 7th to 9th Streets NW, in front of the National Portrait Gallery.

Exhibitor applications close September 8th. More information is available: Diverse Markets Management

Berman, as president of the Downtown Artists Coalition (DAC) , also announced in a press release the grand opening of F ST | Arts, a suite of 6 brand new studios, at 923 F Street, NW. on Sept 5th at 6:30pm.

Artists displaced by downtown development will celebrate their return then. The return highlights "extraordinary cooperation in preserving cultural assets downtown," said Michael Berman.

The cooperation was spurred by DAC, which was formed in 1999 to organize the many artists who were facing possible eviction by redevelopment of the 900 block of F Street. The effort to preserve some of the last remaining artists' studios downtown culminated in a 2001 agreement which ultimately involved not only DAC but also the Committee of 100, the DC Preservation League, the landowner, the Archdiocese of Washington; the developer, Akridge; and the District government.

Included in the new Carroll Square development at 975 F Street, NW, is 7000 square feet of working art studio space, now leased from Akridge by DAC, which subleases to many of the artists who originally occupied space on the street. The studios occupy the 2nd and 3rd floors of the preserved and rehabbed townhouses that are incorporated into the development.

Berman's space in the project will function as a gallery called CAOS on F. The opening show will feature paintings by Berman, wood furniture by Matthew Falls, ceramics by Joe Hicks and paintings by Quint Marshall. In addition to Berman, Falls and Hicks are exhibitors at the Flea Market at Eastern Market.