The site in LexingtonCounty is located on U.S. Hwy. 321 and is within 1.5 miles of both I-77 and I-26 with over 2,500 feet of frontage on I-26. The new market design is based upon a clearly defined plan that provides separate and distinct areas for the major wholesale vendors, the retail sale of South Carolina agricultural products with a section specifically designed for this purpose, and also a farmers’ shed section, which will be owned and operated by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ sheds will provide a great environment for South Carolina farmers to rent space on a daily or seasonal basis in order to offer their products.
Each section of the new market is designed to serve a particular purpose and will provide the agricultural community of South Carolina with a venue that is second to none. The Retail/Agribusiness section is designed to be user/pedestrian friendly with 10 foot sidewalks, convenient onsite parking adjacent to each building, and a low country design offering 12 foot wraparound porches and heavy landscaping. This entire section is designed to be pedestrian/customer friendly so that families will be comfortable visiting the market.
Plans include an exhibition kitchen to be operated by Department of Agriculture, a dedicated children’s play area, school bus drop off area, and a small amphitheater (400 seats +/-) will also provide additional amenities within the market which will assist in drawing traffic to the market. These amenities will benefit the retail vendors and South Carolina Farmers renting space within the farmers’ shed section of the market. Some folks may question why an amphitheater would be desirable as part of the State Farmers Market. The answer is quite simple; it provides a venue for festivals, outdoor entertainment, and other activities that are all part of the overall theme for this market. This is a theme that will encourage customer visits, and as a result of this traffic, all of the retail vendors and farmers shed operators will benefit.
With over 170 acres, separate and distinct areas within the new market will provide the wholesale, retail, and farmers’ shed operators with a market within a market. One look at the site plan for the new market will show the clearly defined areas of operations within the market.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture proposes to purchase 42 acres +/- of property from the developer to accommodate the relocation of the Department laboratory facilities, a conference center and construction of farmers sheds.
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