Though the Athens Farmers Market has called the Athens mall parking lot on East State Street its home since the ’80s, members and officials are seeking a new space to expand.
“They’re looking for a more permanent site,” Rinser said.
Currently, the market holds a yearly lease with the owners of the current East State Street parking lot, he said, adding that with the expansion of the mall, the addition of new stores and the growth of the market itself, the market was feeling cramped for space.
“They’ve been looking for a more permanent place where they could build a pavilion,” Risner said, adding the farmers market was also seeking permanent bathrooms.
This isn’t the first time the market has made an appeal to city officials for help with relocation.
Last October, farmers market officials contacted Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl about securing about $5 million to purchase a property and construct a new space, according to previous Post reports.
The proposition was quickly denied by Wiehl.
“We can’t just take taxpayers’ funds and throw it at businesses,” Wiehl said at the time. “I don’t think they have enough money for that. They’re farmers.”
Risner said the market has set its eyes on the Athens Community Center.
“It seems like it would be a good fit for the community center and the farmers market,” Risner said.
While the community center could provide the market with a more stable spot, the market would still hold a lease agreement with the city, Risner said.