Above: Maykou Yang, right, sells rhubarb from Afton at Xang Vang's farm stall at the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Nicollet Mall June 5, 2014. (Courtney Perry/Special to the Star Tribune)
The Nicollet Mall Farmers Market is moving -- again.
After a relatively unsuccessful stint last year on Hennepin Avenue due to the reconstruction of the mall, the Thursday market popular with downtown workers will move this year to the Hennepin County Government Center's south plaza, the Downtown Council announced Wednesday.
The Nicollet Mall project is expected to last through fall 2017, meaning the relocations will continue for at least another year. The market runs on Thursdays from May 5th to November 10, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The south plaza is located between 6th Street and 7th Street, 3rd Avenue and 4th Avenue.
Pat Nelson, who manages the Nicollet Mall market, said the move to Hennepin Ave. last year did not work out very well. There were problems with safety and noise, and customers said the five-block layout was too spread out.
Some vendors rely on the downtown market sales for about a third of their annual income, Nelson said. But their sales dropped by 70 percent or more over previous years.
“We did not get the customer traffic that we were hoping to [have] as close as we were to Nicollet,” Nelson said.
He added: “One thing nice about the Hennepin County Government Center plaza is we’re all going to be together in one general area,” Nelson said.
Nelson said they hope they can move to the north Government Center plaza next year, but it depends on construction timelines.
The Nicollet Mall market is one of several located in downtown. Capella Tower, located across from the Government Center plaza, hosts a Wednesday market. Crystal Court in the IDS building hosts a market on Tuesdays.