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Market House Opening Likely Delayed Until May

Contract negotiations with vendors may again delay the reopening of the downtown Annapolis icon.

UPDATE: (9:10 a.m.)—Residents waiting for the Market House to reopen in March may have to wait a while longer.

"It's beginning with an 'm'. It might be May," Alderman Ross Arnett (D-Ward 8) said at a town hall meeting on Thursday night. "There are a number of reasons for it, but we are having a devil of a time negotiating all the contracts with the vendors."

The contract for each of the six vendors has ballooned to more than 60 pages a piece, and Arnett said that has slowed the process.

Arnett and Alderman Ian Pfeiffer (D-Ward) noted that these are five-year contracts, and the city wants to make sure this iteration of the Market House is successful.

Annapolis has struggled for years with the City Dock landmark: In 2005, Dean & DeLuca backed out of plans to occupy the space in part because of concerns about its economic viability. The Market House closed in December 2010, re-opened in July 2011, closed again in January 2012, and has sat vacant since.

“The Market House remains on track to reopen this spring and I will have a full announcement in the near future,” Mayor Josh Cohen said in a statement responding to the possible delay.

Cohen failed to meet a self-imposed deadline to re-open the downtown landmark by Oct. 1, 2012. He's promised to "walk the plank" into Spa Creek as a penalty when the Market House reopens.

"The good news is the water will be a lot warmer for Josh," Arnett said.

See Also:

  • Merchants Not Surprised by Market House Delay
  • Mayor To Walk Plank When Market House Reopens
Steven Conn January 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM
The city ought to just sell the venue. Government has already proven it is inept at managing what should have been a short term renovation, imagine how awful it would be at managing a thriving business venue? Selling it would infuse cash into the $ strapped city coffers and let private industry take over and run a successful operation.
Mike January 11, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Why on Earth is the City of Annapolis attempting to be operate as a landlord? The evidence that the city is incompetent is overwhelming, but more important, the city shouldn't be involved in such things at all. It has no more business running the market than it does running a restaurant, starting a parasailing business, or opening up a dental practice. Somehow (I'd love to know the history, though it would probably turn the stomach of any honest person) the PEOPLE of Annapolis came to own the Market. So, auction it off to the highest bidder, use the money to immediately refund taxes, and MOVE ON. The current incompetence (and Lord knows what else) is a direct violation of the city government's fiduciary responsibility to us, the OWNERS of the property.
Marina January 11, 2013 at 08:26 PM
What a joke... Sadly the taxpayers are supporting these expesive games making this City a patetic playground for a Mayor who is action as a buffon. .
duncan January 12, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Just sell the place to Harvey already!
Beth Rubin January 13, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I totally agree with Stephen Heise. I've watched the changes (none for the better) ... Like many long-time residents, I loved--and frequented--the OLD Market House. Since the pols got over-involved, it's been a pox on the downtown landscape and blight on historic downtown.

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