COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO HELP CANINO’S NET THAT DESTINATION FISH MARKET APPEAL “Something that seems to make other markets around the world such successful destinations (Pike Place, Borough Market, Reading Terminal, etc.) is their accessibility within a dense urban core. In each case, the locations are accessible to pedestrians and located near high-traffic public transit locations. They are also near other walkable destinations like stores and restaurants, art galleries and museums; within walking distance from hotels and other destinations. It will be interesting to see how this works out in Houston on Airline Dr., with all of the car traffic and expansive space needed to accommodate parking. I hope Airline and Cavalcade get to be a little more walkable, and buses run there more often.” [Nearnort, commenting on Destination-Ization Plans for Airline Dr. Farmers Market Show New Rooftops, Playground, Multistory Observation Tower, Some Whitewashing] Rendering of plans for Canino Market on Airline Dr.: MLB Capital Partners
As mentioned earlier today, more details on the plan to redo the 1940’s farmers market on Airline Dr. are now out — MLB released some sketches and site plans this morning, which the company says are meant to help turn the spot into a “destination retail experience.” The renderings show most of the gaps between the existing market buildings bridged by new rooftops and green spaces, connecting the structures into a single complex (some of which will likely get air conditioned for fish and dairy operations and the like).
It’s not totally clear whether some the existing buildings are actually going to be painted white, or if the details of planned finishes just haven’t made their way into the renderings at this stage of design — but the currently-yellow front of Canino’s can be spied rocking a pale grey skin in the sketches above and below, behind the market’s new double-height entry facade:
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The Canino’s Retail Experience
CANINO MARKET HAD ALREADY KINDA GENTRIFIED, SAY FOLKS PLANNING UPCOMING $10-MILLION REDO “Over time,” writes Nancy Sarnoff for the Chronicle this morning after talking to some of the folks behind that in-the-works redevelopment of the recently sold Canino farmer’s market on Airline Dr., the market has already become “a place where produce [is] shipped and trucked in from places like Mexico and elsewhere, like it is to a grocery store.” The local farmers and early-morning bread-seekers are mostly gone, and property values in the neighborhood are already on the rise — as are the townhomes. “We’ve come to the realization that no matter what we do here, it’s already happening,” MLB Partners’s Todd Mason tells Sarnoff; “We’ve looked around to buy more over here, and prices have already escalated.” The developers also run through some of the details for the $10-million project with Chris Baldwin over at PaperCity, who writes that “the 17.5-acre site is being almost completely re-imagined” — potential changes include some 60,000 sq. ft. of additional space, a “large lounging lawn,” a children’s play area, and “a distinctive towering sign from Studio Red Architects that can be seen from the freeway.” [Houston Chronicle and PaperCity; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Canino Produce Market
Those rumors Swamplot has been hearing lately about an impending changing of hands of Canino Produce farmers market at 2520 Airline Dr. have finally been clarified a bit by Nancy Sarnoff over at the Chronicle: a sales deal is currently in the hammering-out stage between the Farmers Marketing Association of Houston and MLB Capital Partners (the company that owns the Houston Design Center, as well as some other office-y holdings). A rep for the would-be buyers tells Sarnoff that the plan is to keep the market intact, but make it more tourist-worthy, starting with an upgrade to the parking areas and the bathrooms (and maybe later by adding a butcher, a baker, and a
candlestick maker brewery to the mix).
Photo: Canino Produce Market
Setting Terms near Sunset Heights
REIGN OF NEW EAST END FARMERS MARKET ON THE NAVIGATION ESPLANADE BEGINS THIS SUNDAY Local veggie standouts Finca Tres Robles and the Last Organic Outpost will be among the 35 vendors on hand on April 12th for the inaugural East End farmers’ market on the Navigation Blvd. esplanade (pictured here), across from the original Ninfa’s. The East End Foundation, the event’s nonprofit sponsor, says it’ll be the first farmers market in Houston to accept electronic food stamps. The market will run every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm at 2800 Navigation; strolling mariachis will kick of this weekend’s grand opening, to be answered by a few sets from Sister Sister y Los Misters. Also available: meats from Texas T Kobe Beef and Al Marcus’s Grateful Bread. Photo: East End Foundation
Two brothers who have opened a new agricultural venture in Houston’s East End are billing it as Houston’s “first private farm inside the 610 Loop.” Amid the gritty industrial wilds of N. Greenwood St. between Navigation and Canal — just a few blocks south of Buffalo Bayou’s Turkey Bend —Finca Tres Robles (spelled out and illustrated helpfully in the photo above) now sprouts on land owned by Electro-Coatings, a plating company. Other less bucolic neighbors, such as Baker Oil Tools and the US Zinc Houston Dust Plant, lurk nearby.
Until its 1996 purchase by Electro-Coatings (along with a warehouse owned by Sara Lee), the 1.2-acre plot now occupied by the farm served as a TxDOT service site. It lay vacant for the last 18 years. Beginning 6 or 7 months ago, the new proprietors jackhammered away the vestigial asphalt; they’ve since composted the lot and commenced agricultural operations.
Here’s the plan:
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Finca Tres Robles
Yes, those are some likely trucked-in late-fall tomatoes featured in the Houston Press‘s latest interactive map. Each marks the spot of one of the 15 current regular farmers markets in the greater Houston area.
Image: Monica Fuentes/Houston Press
FEEDER FARMERS MARKET Houston’s first freeway-side farmers market debuts this Friday at 3 pm in the parking lot of the HCC Southwest College’s West Loop campus. Appropriately enough, the market’s organizers at Urban Harvest are telling visitors this new market at 5601 West Loop Fwy. South “will have more of a ‘street food’ component with more food trucks” as well as locally prepared foods. The HCC campus was created out of what was originally a store for Incredible Universe, Tandy Corp.’s short-lived mid-nineties venture into big-box electronics retailing. Also beginning soon: another Urban Harvest farmers market on Thursdays, in Sugar Land Town Square. [Fort Bend Sun] Photo: WhisperToMe
It’s a Wednesday, about 3 o’clock, which means it’s time for Houston’s newest — and probably smallest — “farmer’s” market, in a corner of the parking lot at the School of the Woods Montessori school, 1321 Wirt Rd. at Westview, in Hilshire Village. It’ll last until 6. Yelper Aeryk P. says the market started out pretty small a few weeks ago. He found:
Village Botanica’s produce and meat, Quick-n-ezee’s Indian food, Shirley Ann’s pies and [quiche], Barky Dogz natural dog treats, Katz’s Coffee, Trentino’s Gelato and CareKindly’s environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Photo: School of the Woods