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.