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Eastern Market Announces Opening Date

Eastern Market is set to reopen on Friday, June 26, according to Mayor Adrian Fenty.

The long-running market was devastated in an early morning electrical fire on April 30, 2007, and has since been slowly moving toward reopening.

Fenty will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the June 26, and on the following day the community will celebrate the reopening. Merchants currently in the temporary East Hall will begin moving their wares into the renovated South Hall on June 14.

The Office of Property Management and the District Department of Transportation had stepped up the pace of improvements to meet the June deadline in the past few months. For example, Seventh Street Southeast from C Street to North Carolina Avenue has been closed since March as the District has worked to install a new streetscape, including not just the roadway but also new brick sidewalks, granite curbs and lighting.

Even as the market reopens, some issues remain. The District chose not to renew the contract of manager Eastern Market Ventures at the end of 2008 after having extended it in July. At the end of March, the OPM and the Office of Contracting and Procurement said that they were dissatisfied with the bids they had received and decided to re-evaluate the market’s economics before taking more proposals. Barry Margeson, who has served as the OPM’s coordinator for Eastern Market since August 2008, has been managing the market in the interim.

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