Renovation Poses Challenges for Small Market Hall Traders

Sun 4th Feb, 2024

Merchants and patrons of the petite market hall are gearing up for challenging times as plans for the renovation of the 70-year-old city center structure are set to commence no later than the beginning of 2025, spanning a three-and-a-half-year period. Throughout this renovation phase, individual stalls will be relocated to temporary tents adjacent to the hall. Anticipating significant sales downturns, Anja-Katharina Mänz, a representative from the Kleinmarkthalle interest group, where merchants have united, voiced concerns, stating, "Nobody enjoys shopping on a construction site."

Recently, municipal market operations and the economic department unveiled the restructuring plans to the traders. The operators of stands along the "Metzgerzeile" on the south side of the hall and within the gallery are expected to be particularly affected, requiring relocation for 21 months to facilitate the installation of new ventilation ducts. However, all other vendors will also face temporary displacements.

Mänz acknowledges the inevitability of these measures, emphasizing the need for the most appealing solutions possible to maintain sales outlets in the vicinity during the renovation period. A strategic approach, including events and potential backing from market businesses and economic development, is deemed essential to ensure the retention of customer interest. The rental amounts for the relocated stalls and the post-renovation period remain uncertain, posing a potential threat to the survival of some tenants during the construction period.

The proposal to establish sales tents north of the hall raises concerns as the parking spaces traditionally utilized by retailers would be forfeited. Mänz suggests alternatives in nearby parking garages to offset this loss. Despite a previous architectural proposal for an underground car park south of the hall, deemed costly and now excluded from the plan, the estimated costs of the current renovation project stand at 31.3 million euros.

Mänz criticizes the idea of relocating the market to a container facility on the banks of the Main during the construction period, deeming it impractical. Despite its proximity, this alternative location is also required for periodic events throughout the year, necessitating a reduction in the market size each time such events take place.

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