We know you all have been wondering about the progress of East End Market, so here is our monthly update! Thank you for your patience and encouragement as we develop East End Market. Because there has never been a project exactly like this before, there are surprises all along the way, and as Owner John Rife would say, “If it was easy, it would have been done before.”
Not only is East End a learning experience for us, but we also hope that it will offer many educational experiences for you once we open. Our edible landscaping and market garden will be just one of the opportunities to explore and learn at East End. It will awaken you to the possibilities of growing food, says Henry Melendy, Founder of My Yard Farm and landscape designer of East End Market. And John Rife can’t wait to have a market garden, which “will be the billboard for what’s in season.” So, take a peak at what we have accomplished over the past couple of months and leave your comments below.
In January, we began “The Market Minute,” our weekly series of short videos, giving you an insider’s look at the local food scene. To keep you updated on East End Market’s development, we have partnered with Orlando LIVE for a monthly video series on the building’s progress and our upcoming events.
In this series, John Rife, East End Market’s founder and developer, talks about the unique artisan culture the Market will support by creating an engaging and thought-provoking space. You’ll also get a sneak peek inside the space and learn how we are re-adapting the building for our own use. Click the video above to hear more!
In the lively Audubon Park Garden District, an abandoned 14,000 square foot two-story is an unharmonious site compared to the eclectic and funky shops along Corrine Drive. The building was constructed in 1962 as a church and stood as a sturdy place of worship until 2007. With the downturned economy, the building has stood vacant for the past five years, creating an odd void in the otherwise active community.
East End Market hopes to transform this space into a gathering place with a unique environment to nurture the neighborhood’s distinct culture. Other redevelopment projects have been known to revitalize communities, like a repurposed Wal-Mart turned into a Texas public library. As East End adapts the building into a bustling community food hub, the area’s economic, social and environmental health are at the core of the developers’ motivation.
The adaptive reuse project is not only economically viable, but environmentally as well. East End will extend the lifecycle of the structure, meanwhile minimizing Orlando’s sprawl, preserving virgin materials used in new construction, and conserving energy in general. As updates are made to bring the existing building up to code, energy efficiency is ensured by reinsulating the ceilings and replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows. Sustainability is also incorporated by ethically and regionally sourcing building materials. As for the waste materials, like those from an old house on the back of the property, they are sorted and recycled appropriately.
An Urban Garden will take the space of a 1,300 square foot lawn off of Corrine drive. Edible plants and Florida-friendly varietals will be used for additional landscaping, rather than the irrigation-needy, non-edible alternatives. The market will also bring the outdoors in with creative planters made from reclaimed wood. Future phases will allow East End to incorporate other green designs like solar panels, a cistern for harvesting rainwater, and perhaps even a green roof.
The producer-focused market hall, incubator kitchen, farm-fresh restaurant, office/retail areas, and event space are slated to open February 2013. Aiming to support the food entrepreneurs and local business of Central Florida, East End also sourced their contractors and construction company locally, using Barefoot Brothers Construction and Schmidt Design and Architectural Resource Group (of Altamonte Springs). Just as Seattle, New York City and D.C.’s public markets have drawn national attention with their redevelopments, East End aspires to provide a comparable experience for visitors and residents of Audubon Park.