Longtime farmer's market sellers say they're getting pushed aside

Longtime farmer's market sellers say they're getting pushed aside

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Longtime vendors at the 17th Street Farmer's Market, some of whom have been there for generations, say they are getting pushed aside.

Tim Christian, who owns Christian's Produce, said city officials promised him, along with two other "legacy vendors" a spot in the market once construction on a new pedestrian plaza is complete.

However, several weeks ago the vendors were informed that they will be moved from the area near Main Street to the back of the farmer's market near Franklin Street. Officials confirmed Christian's Produce will stay on Main Street, but it will be relocated a block away from the farmer's market.

Space in the newly renovated farmer's market will be given to new vendors once it reopens.

Construction has been ongoing for a year and is expected to be completed in the fall. The new plaza will include trees, outdoor seating, a fountain and bike trail.

"My livelihood is at stake," Christian said. "This is how I make a living. I want to be right in the front where I was before. Everybody knows the legacy of me being right in front."

Christian's family has been operating the stand at the 17th Street Farmer's Market for more than 50 years.

City officials said two of the three longtime vendors, who are ladies in their 80s, will still technically be in the farmer's market. They also said Christian's Produce will get foot traffic from the nearby GRTC bus stop and Main Street Station.

Each vendor will receive a metal hut to use for their stand.

There will also be 15-minute parking restrictions for their customers.

Copyright 2018 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.