"The Rail Area Project": Planned Quakertown Public Market
By: Ryan Weiss
QUAKERTOWN,PA> Within the past few months, there's been a buzz in Upper Bucks County about a "possible new market" in the works for Quakertown. In the past few days, the buzz has been confirmed with new information regarding "The Rail Area Project" being spear headed by developers Chris LaBonge and Ian Jeffery (owner of Fries Rebellion on Route 309). The over arcing plan is to move Fries Rebellion into the old frieght house and convert the former trolley barn into a public market space which will house up to fourteen different vendors. This project is will be in development over the next twelve months. This will be a direct comparison to the Easton Public Market, which houses the same type of layout.
When speaking to surrounding businesses, especially vendors at the Quakertown Farmers Market, their thoughts are of concern. "Will this drive business away from the Q-mart?"is definitely a forefront question. The Quakertown Farmers Market has been a Bucks County institution since opening in 1932. With over one hundred vendors in the main building and many more in the rear Barn 1 and Barn 2 buildings, a new public market will be hard pressed to compete with such an area landmark.
The Quakertown Farmers Market is comfortable. Everyone knows everyone, knows where everything is and knows how much everything costs. The market is embraced by the town; protected. So while a new public market may seem like an intrusion by an outsider, it may be a gateway to new community support and partnership.