New look, changes in store for Oneida County Public Market

Published Jun 19, 2017 at 4:00pm

The Oneida County Public Market has sprouted a new look.

The market’s vendor area behind Union Station in Utica has been overhauled both inside and out to provide more display space. The REA Wing improvements are being done gradually — it is a $3 million-plus project.

The first phase, involving the interior remodel of where the market is housed, was completed in 2012. The exterior of that area, as well as the exterior of the two-story adjoining building and the first-floor interior, was completed in April as part of the second component.

But the work’s not done yet. The third phase will renovate the most easterly section of the structure. It is slated to begin next spring with completion by the following fall.

The market’s summer session is underway and runs until October. It takes place Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is one of a number of weekly markets around the county that feature local fresh farm products, such as the two in Rome.

Besides the finished building improvements, Public Market changes this season include:

  • Providing information about county services, including such things as job vacancies, employment and civil service information, and program applications.
  • Several new vendors.
  • Partnerships with Fidelis Care, Barnes & Noble and dentist Michael Lavelle for the Power of Produce Kids Club.
  • Co-hosting the 2017 Harley-Davidson Revolution Rally with Oneida County Tourism July 13-15.​

The REA Wing was empty for many years, continuing to deteriorate all the while. That changed in 2011 when the county began improvements in 2011 to support the market.

“Union Station is a gem, and I’ve always seen the outstanding potential of the REA Wing,” said County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The Public Market continues to be a way that we can capitalize on that potential, while also meeting the needs of local consumers and farmers.”

The county contracts with Beth Irons to manage the market.