Organizers for a market in uptown Charlotte have dropped their request for up to $1 million in city money. Instead, they're looking for federal and private grants to transform the former Reid's Fine Foods building into a place for farmers and chefs to sell their wares.
David O'Neil is a consultant for the project hired by Charlotte Center City Partners. He says he's surprised by the fuss over using $1 million of city money to build the market.
"Public money is being spent on these markets far in excess of that," says O'Neil. "I don't know why everyone here is being upset about this number? I think it's displaced anger that people have about larger economic issues."
O'Neil says farmers markets drive economic growth and foster small businesses.
More than a hundred people attended a meeting last night to talk about what they want in a market uptown.
Charlotte Center City Partners made the initial pitch to convert the Reid's space into a market, but now hopes that interested citizens will take the lead.