We need to get the Market House bustling again as an authentic centerpiece for downtown’s waterfront. Yesterday the City released the following news release:
Mayor Invites Proposals for Short-term Occupancy of Market House
Cohen announces ‘open audition of ideas’; goal of full occupancy by Memorial Day
Annapolis, Maryland (March 12, 2010) – Mayor Joshua J. Cohen is inviting proposals for short-term occupancy of the Market House. The Mayor’s goal is to achieve a bustling, fully occupied Market House by Memorial Day Weekend.
“My immediate focus is on economic development and there is no more important place to begin than the Market House,” Mayor Cohen said. “I invite all proven and would-be entrepreneurs to participate in this open audition of ideas. This is the first step in the rebirth of Annapolis’ waterfront as a year-round destination for City residents and visitors alike.”
All selected applicants should assume short-term occupancy that will end no later than January 3, 2011. The long-term occupancy and management structure of the Market House remains undecided and will be determined by the City Council. It is possible that any applicants selected for short-term occupancy may receive a long-term lease extension.
Mayor Cohen has set an April 9 deadline to submit proposals to the City. Individuals wishing to submit an application or wanting more information should contact Marcelle Lee at 410-263-7944 or MYLee@annapolis.gov.
The Mayor will consider proposals for any portion of the Market House, from a single stall to the entire building (with the exception of the BankAnnapolis space), subject to the requirements of the City Code and the limitations of the physical space and the air conditioning capacity. Any proposed remodeling of the interior space must be performed at lessee’s expense and must be achievable in four weeks’ time. The rental rate will be 5 percent of gross sales plus charges to cover maintenance and utilities.
The application has three required sections and one optional section. Section 1 (Concept) should provide an overview that includes the applicant’s contact information, general business concept, the product offerings, and a simple sketch of the display area. The City will post Section 1 of each application online after the April 9th submission deadline. Section 2 (Viability) should describe the applicant’s experience in running a business, and why the proposal will succeed in the Market House. Section 3 (Operations) should cover operational aspects and include the amount of space requested, a simple sketch of the floor plan, requirements for electricity and water, any heat generation the operation would produce, and any other operational requirements or considerations. Section 4 is optional and may include any other comments or information relevant to the proposal.
The City Council empowered the Mayor to execute short-term leases with terms ending no later than January 3, 2011. The Mayor will select proposals based on their strengths in three main areas: First, the overall concept must support the Market House’s role as a vibrant and authentic anchor for downtown that draws people, serves Annapolis’ diverse local community and bolsters the area around it. Second, the proposal must be financially viable and likely to succeed. Third, the operational requirements must be practical and compatible with the physical constraints of the structure.
The Mayor expects to make a preliminary decision by mid-April, at which time the administration will enter into discussions with prospective lessee or lessees and aim to finalize all leases by April 30.