MVTCID seeking new Manager for Liberty Market

The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (MVTCID) is seeking a new Market Manager for the Liberty Market at 5th & I. The current contract with Chef Kenac ends on June 30th. Follow the jump for the full description of the opportunity.

Request for Market Manager Proposal
The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (BID) is seeking a market manager/management company to take over the operations of the public market located at 5th and Eye Streets, NW. The market would operate Sundays, and suggested hours are 9:00-1:00 or 10:00-4:00. Ideal vendors for the market would include: produce, arts, crafts, prepared food, clothing, jewelry, and garden supplies.

The lot is currently owned by the District of Columbia and rented by Franking Parking as a parking lot, with an agreement for community use on Sundays. Currently, six cars have monthly contracts, so those cars would have to remain on site. The lot is large enough to accommodate up to 80 vendors. Offsite parking for vendors is available on Sundays through an adjacent lot, brokered by MVTCID.

The current contract with the market manager expires on June 30, 2011; and a new agreement with the District of Columbia will be available for approximately 12 months. Development of that lot as a hotel is planned to start in the summer of 2012.

Since Mount Vernon Triangle is primarily a residential neighborhood, noise generated by set-up, breakdown, and operations needs to be kept to a minimum. No radios or amplified instruments are allowed.

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel comprised of staff of MVTCID, DC government, and Franklin Parking to identify a market manager/company that has a track record for successful market management and understands this developing neighborhood. Proof of indemnification insurance will be required by the District of Columbia. Interested parties should submit their proposals in writing by June 24, 2011 to:

Attn: Liberty Market
Mount Vernon Triangle CID
901 4th Street, NW
Washington DC 20001

Questions: call (202) 216-0511 or email:

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  1. 1

    sm says

    I feel that in order for this market to survive and succeed (and I want it to) is to hire someone who can bring some produce, farm-fresh products, and other edibles to entice residents. The crafts and gits are fine, but these are not something that people would need to replenish weekly or generate continued interest. I supported the market when it first opened and I stop in when I can (I love outdoor markets), but it’s disappointing. I want to see this place thrive and grow!

  2. 2

    Chris K says

    I concur with sm. I realize that fresh produce may not always be available due to farming timelines, but there are many other food products that could be used. It would be awesome to have fresh organic meats, breads, cheeses, wines, etc.; and then when the fresh produce starts coming in the market would be even better. I stopped by the market a few times as well, because I wanted it to work, but I can only walk by so many arts/crafts booths in a summer. I was really dissapointed this wasn’t a more food-centric market; especially since the closest grocer (Safeway) really lacks on organic meat products. Some crafts are good, but if crafts are the main focus this won’t work.

  3. 3

    MandFifth says

    I agree with Chris K and sm. I want this market to survive but it needs to be food centric. I can’t make the PQ farmer’s market on Thursdays due to work logistics, but would love to go to one on weekend. I have also noticed that the few food vendors that were there to begin with have now mostly left, including a vendor that sold freshly baked baguettes/bread.

  4. 6

    FourthandEye says

    A couple of thoughts:

    I had no confidence in the market manager that was selected to launch the market this spring. The two week market he had at City Center last fall was a bit of a debacle. He had a track record of focusing more on marketing to vendors rather than potential customers. Feedback from vendors suggested he did not even come close to delivering on promises. In talking with the MVTCID he showed the most interest in getting the market started ASAP whereas the other potential operators wanted to begin later in the year. That gave Kenac the edge but in hindsight that wasn’t the best decision.

    When the market manager launched the market this Spring he initially proposed Saturday AND Sunday 10-6pm for a total of 16 hours. I thought two days was way too ambitious. I walked by the first two weekends and they didn’t even honor the hours they advertised. I like the MVTCID is now suggesting one day with either 4 or 6 hours duration. If the market is still busy they can stay open a little later than the adverstised hours – but to shut down 2-3 hours before what the signage states sends the wrong message.

    I agree with “sm” that crafts are not the type of product that earns repeat customers. Food is what has the best chance of earning regular customers. I’m sure the food vendors are in demand by many markets. We’re not yet a strong market so we may not be the most desirable destination for them. You have to start somewhere. I hope the new manager can atleast attract enough food vendors to raise the profile of the market. Then as the reputation of the market grows perhaps additional food vendors will become interested in participating.

    Finally, I haven’t had much direct discourse with the vendors. But those I have chatted with said the chain link fence around the parking lot is a psychological barrier. Most people just walk right on by because of it. I presume there is no chance the fence will come down. But the new market manager should consider putting the types of vendors most likely to pull in passersby closest to the Fifth Street entrance. Every vendor will benefit from increased entries…

  5. 7

    apss says

    I hear the Market’s going to have produce and plants this weekend.

    I overheard the Manager — I think he’s a really good guy — talking about it yesterday at Busboys. He also said meat vendors were coming in, too.

    That’s great! It was just a matter of time.

    I remember the Market taking a really good beating in April with the storms. Glad to see that it’s bouncing back.

    Going to get there early tomorrow. Hope everyone else does, too!