Summary: There’s an important Board of Selectmen’s meeting you need to attend on Monday, April 3
April 10th, as the Belmont Farmer’s Market – a beloved institution that brings locally grown produce to town during the Spring and Summer – is fighting for its life against the owner of Locatelli Properties, where the new Foodie’s Market will soon open. A multi-millionaire real estate developer trying to crack down on a bunch of local farmers and entrepreneurs? Call it a sign of the times. Editor’s note: Updated to reflect the new date of the Selectman’s meeting: Monday, April 10th. Updated a second time, as the date of the Farmers’ Market hearing has been moved back to next Monday, April 3rd!!
There’s an important Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday,
April 10th April 3, as the Belmont Farmer’s Market – a beloved institution that brings locally grown produce to town during the Spring and Summer – is fighting for its life against the owner of Locatelli Properties, where the new Foodie’s Market will soon open. From the Citizen Herald…
The Belmont Farmers’ Market did not get the approval from the selectmen for its 12th season as it hoped to at the March 27 Board of Selectmen meeting. They continued the discussion to their April 3 meeting. Kevin Foley, manager of Locatelli Properties, Inc. expressed his concern about the location of the Farmers’ Market in the Belmont Center parking lot as his newest tenant, Foodie’s Market, plans to open in April and was assured parking would not be an issue.”We are in an environment where we cannot create more policies that hurt us. Foodie’s is a direct competitor,” said Foley. “We would like them to find a different location. If the town wants it, put it in the town parking lot, church lots, town lots, schools. Belmont Center is not the right spot for it,” he said, adding the first year is going to be a challenge for Foodie’s and is critical for them.
In other words: Locatelli is objecting to part of the Town’s municipal lot being given over to the Belmont Farmer’s Market, which has dutifully served the community from that location for 11 years. Apparently, Mr. Foley and his employer banked on public resources (a small number of spaces at the back of the Town’s municipal lot) being there to boost the prospects for his private tenant (and the private property owner) despite an 11 year history. If he made any assurances to Foodies about the Market not being there in 2017 and those spots being opened, he was bargaining with an asset he didn’t own or control – always a risky business.
It’s important to note, also, that Foodie’s, itself, is not opposing the Farmer’s Market. Just the opposite: a spokesman for the company is on the record in the BCH saying that Foodies was opposed to its landlord’s efforts and sees the Belmont Farmers Market as a net-driver of business to the market. (Thanks, Foodie’s!)
Please show up Monday, April
10th 3rd and stand up/speak up for the Farmer’s Market to continue in its current location! There’s no “more policies” here, just a continuation of a more than decade long tradition of the Farmer’s Market locating on Town property in the Center. I’ll say this – in these “trying times,” the Town of Belmont doesn’t need to be subsidizing multi-millionaire real estate owners at the public’s expense. The Farmer’s Market serves the whole community. Come and fight for it Monday evening starting at the Selectmen’s Room in Town Hall!!