BBJ: Lexington Market developers ask business leaders for financial boost

Lexington Market rendering

By Melody Simmons
August 20, 2020

The redo of historic Lexington Market needs buy-in from Baltimore’s business community ahead of its 2022 reopening, the development team said August 20.

The redevelopment of the 238-year-old market in progress downtown could usher a new era of community spirit into the city — but only if local business leaders lend their support and possibly, financial assistance through a new loan fund being set up.

“Seawall cannot do it alone,” said Thibault Manekin, president of Seawall Development, which is heading the $40 million project.

The new Lexington Market is expected to open in a modern building in early 2022 with a total of 60 vendors and a new outdoor pavilion. The designs and ideas were detailed during a video forum held Thursday August 20 by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Manekin and his team presented a “call to action” to the GBC membership that will help drive the new era for the historic market that has served nine generations of local residents.

That call to action includes sharing word of the redo and pumping up excitement and opportunities, and helping to fund some small business and minority and woman-owned vendors in need of up to $75,000 in “last mile” capital to make their plans become a reality.

“Lexington Market hopes to launch small businesses,” Manekin said. “And we are continuously out there working on last-mile capital and that is an area where the business community can help.”

A loan fund is being formed in a partnership with the nonprofit Baltimore Community Lending and the University of Maryland to close the funding gap for startup capital, Manekin said.

“It is going to be easy to access and we’re excited to begin to roll that out,” he added.

Vendor applications are currently being accepted in the first of two rounds with an Oct. 2 deadline. A second round of vendor applications will open Jan. 11 through March 5, 2021. Free workshops will begin next week for prospective vendors on design and business strategies. Details on the project are posted to its website, TransformLexington.

“If Lexington Market is going to be successful again we have to make sure there are a variety of businesses there and that they are successful as well,” Manekin told the GBC forum. “This is something we’re taking very seriously.”

To read the complete story, visit the Baltimore Business Journal website.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

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