Monday, March 10, 2014
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Gillian Graham / Staff Writer
SOUTH PORTLAND — Maine Mall officials are seeking city permission to hold a weekly farmers market in a parking lot at the corner of Gorham and Philbrook roads.
If approved, the farmers market at the Maine Mall would be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through the end of September.
The Maine Mall “would like to provide an environmentally friendly amenity to contribute to a healthier community and an improved quality of life,” according to the application filed by mall manager Craig Gorris.
The mall needs to secure a special exception for outdoor sales and display from the Planning Board before the market can open May 29, according to Steve Puleo, the city’s community planner. The Planning Board will consider the plan May 22.
The market will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through the end of September. Vendors will include farmers, gardeners, growers, artisan, bakers and others who produce what they sell. Twelve vendors have committed to the market, which will allow up to 25 sellers.
The mall will add bollard planters and other barricades to separate the farmers market from the parking lot.
If approved, the Maine Mall Farmers Market will be the second in the city. The South Portland Farmers’ Market will open next week in its new location on Hinckley Drive adjacent to Mill Creek Park. That market was supposed to open today, but the city has not yet issued licenses for vendors.
Market manager Caitlin Jordan said applications for 20 vendors were dropped off at City Hall on Monday, but the licenses were not issued in time to open the market at 3 p.m.
Jordan anticipates the market will open next Thursday. The new location for the market was approved by the City Council Monday night.
Market vendors hope the Hinckley Drive location will provide more visibility than the previous location in Thomas Knight Park. Jordan said last year’s market began with weekly attendance that topped 1,000 people, but by August there were fewer than 100 shoppers per week.