Connecticut Regional Market
The Capital Region Development Authority, (CRDA) assumed the ownership of the Connecticut Regional Market (the “Market”), the 1950’s era property located in the South Meadows district of Hartford, in January 2019 under Public Act 18-154.
The Market is a 33-acre facility with over 185,000 square feet of warehouse and refrigerated space located at 101 Reserve Road in Hartford. It is the largest perishable food distribution facility between New York and Boston consisting of four distribution/warehouse buildings, one free-standing restaurant, office space dedicated to real estate management, Department of Agriculture (DoAg) and related federal agricultural services, and a farmers’ market pavilion. While promoting Connecticut Agriculture, the Market serves a dual customer goal by providing a facility for both retail and wholesale trade. At present, approximately 20 tenants are employing approximately 450 persons at the facility daily.
Since acquiring the Market, CRDA initiated several improvements that enhance the experience for the vendors and visitors, including, the paving and striping of more than 200,000 square feet of surface and roadway, repairs to water mains, renovation of Building A’s boiler, mending and extension of the entrance fencing with the installation of two new automatic gates, development of new traffic flow and signage, the installation of additional LED spotlights at the pavilion, construction of a covered bus shelter, and the placement of picnic tables in the area in front of the café for outdoor dining.
Additionally, CRDA engaged the services of HR&A Advisors, to assist with long-term planning for the Regional Market. HR&A has noted the enormous potential in the Market site and their recommendations are outlined in their Proposed Redevelopment Concept report. Here, they focus on the critical gaps in Connecticut’s agriculture industry and food system – gaps that have been highlighted during the COVID pandemic. We have seen scarce supplies of fresh meat, vegetables, and other goods at the retail and wholesale level, increased levels of food insecurity, and an increasingly weakened network of food manufacturing and distribution hubs. A one-page summary of the report is also available.
The redevelopment of the Market is critical to addressing these gaps and the creation of new infrastructure and capacity as a means of dramatically increasing the consumption of local foods in Connecticut is envisioned. The Market would become an economic development hub that provides jobs, offers a marketplace for farmers and producers, and addresses inequities that exist within the food industry. As a distribution hub, the redeveloped Market would allow Connecticut farmers to sell produce more efficiently to local institutions, businesses, and agencies. Growth in the Market’s co-packing and production capacity would extend the growing season and support local production. Finally, training spaces and technical assistance services would increase access to opportunities for food business growth and help stem the dwindling pipeline of farmers and producers in Connecticut.
Additionally, a seasonal farmers’ market is held at the pavilion where members of the public can purchase products such as fresh vegetables, fruits, plants, eggs, and honey from local farmers, nurseries, and agricultural merchants. The farmers’ market attracts nearly 150 vendors on weekends throughout the spring and fall but is managed separately by CT DoAg. The hours of operations are 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May through October. The Department of Agriculture has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 health and safety plan for the vendors and the public including masks, gloves, and social distancing. For more information on the market including stall applications visit the Department of Agriculture website.
Farmers’ Market Pricing
Covered Stalls (Vendors Only)
3 Month Block: $365/per stall
6 Month Block: $650/per stall
Full Season: $1,000/per stall
Uncovered Stalls (Vendors Only)
3 Month Block: $320/per stall
6 Month Block: $580/per stall
Full Season: $875/per stall
Uncovered Stalls (Jobber)
Full Season Option Only: $1,600/per stall