Throughout its long history, its spirit of entrepreneurship, vibrancy, and culture has always endured. Now, in 2021, it’s time for another transformation, one that helps reinvigorate Lexington Market and sets it up for success for another 200 years into the future.
Despite Covid setbacks, Seawall Development and Baltimore Public Markets Corporation have made amazing progress on the new Lexington Market. The new building will welcome more than 50 independent vendors, and will include robust community space, pop-up vendor stalls, and an expanded pedestrian plaza along the Lexington Street side of the building. The plaza will have walk up windows for some vendors, have seasonal programming, and public art. The new building is slated to open to the public to the public in Spring of 2022.
For Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Lexington Market is more than just a building. It’s an economic development and equity initiative for Downtown as well. To CEO Shelonda Stokes, “Lexington Market has always been more than a building. It’s a community space, public market, and food hall. Moving forward, it will also be an epicenter of equity, growing from 5% to more than 50% Black-owned businesses.”
“Lexington Market has always been more than a building. It’s a community space, public market, and food hall. Moving forward, it will also be an epicenter of equity, growing from 5% to more than 50% Black-owned businesses.”
Earlier this week, Shelonda Stokes and other Downtown Partnership staff members got a sneak peek tour of the current state of development at Lexington Market. As you’ll see in the photos and video, the inside of the building is underway, with electrical, gas and plumbing built into the infrastructure, allowing for easy move in for local businesses that make up the market vendors. Baltimore Public Markets has been very intentional about increasing the diversity of vendors featured at the market, with over 50% being diverse, minority owned businesses. Most recently, Baltimore Markets has announced Plum Good, Krause’s Lite Fare, Deddle’s Donuts, Black Acres Roastery, Brookdale Farms Poultry, Connie’s Chicken & Waffles, Blue Island Malaysian, Sausage Master, and Fleurs d’Ave as vendors in the new market. All of these businesses are minority owned.
Maintaining the integrity an history of Baltimore’s Oldest Public Market is very important to the groups behind the redevelopment project. In addition to the diversification of the incoming vendors, special attention is being paid to design choices that tell Baltimore’s story. The steps built into the interior represent Baltimore’s history as a stoop city. The steps will have a seating component built in for world class conversation and connection. In addition, the iconic neon signage that has become synonymous with Lexington Market will be reused and transformed into a prominent art feature.
The renovation of Lexington Market is a pivotal turning point for our Downtown neighborhoods. This redevelopment project will better connect the University of Maryland Systems to Downtown neighborhoods, and help bridge the divide that is often perceived between west Baltimore neighborhoods and Downtown. It’s a market for the city by the City, and remains the longest running public market in world.
Panoramic view of internal development progress on the new Lexington Market building.
External facade of new building on Eutaw Street.
Development progress on interior “stoop” which will include creative seating areas.
View from the top of the internal “stoop.”
Internal development progress on main dining and vendor hall.
Seawall Development leads Downtown Partnership on private tour of the interior development progress.