The city of Dallas is looking for a private operator to take over the Farmers Market, which opened close to 60 years ago.
The city has invested millions of dollars the past several years on improvements for the market located on Interstate 30 at Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
Renovations at Shed 2 added air conditioning to help support meat and cooked food vendors, but many vacancies remain.
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Dallas spends $1.7 million tax dollars a year to operate the Farmers Market, and officials hope a private company might be able to do the job without subsidy from cash strapped City Hall.
Customers at the market Friday had mixed feelings.
“I guess it’s worth some tax money to keep it going,” said Marilyn Price, who said she has enjoyed visiting the market since she was a child.
Customer Tom Cheatham said he shops there for organic produce and would not mind a private operator as long as the market provides the same locally grown products.
“It wouldn’t make a difference who ran it,” said Cheatham. “Private could probably be more efficient.”
Fort Worth visitor Sherry Brown said she wants to see local management but would support improvements to the market.
“If it could be more like the type of market like The Grove, like LA has, where it has more vendors where you can buy the fresh meat -- that would be awesome,” said Brown.
Bids are due later in September, and a Tuesday meeting is scheduled for potential bidders.