DeKalb Market is a joint venture of Urban Space and Young Woo & Associates. In New York City, Urban Space started the trend toward design focused markets with the Grand Central Holiday Market in 1993 and continuing with markets from the South Street Seaport to Columbus Circle. As the name implies, these markets are special places where residents, workers, and visitors come together in a public place and experience the delights of the city. They create a special space within an urban area.
Ecoficial is a new community destination which opened on July 23 and sits on the site of the planned second phase of the CityPoint development in Downtown Brooklyn. The modular market, housed in a collection of salvaged shipping containers, will bring together Brooklyn’s creative entrepreneurs in a community setting that will include an incubator farm, food market, events and performance venue, and a collection of eateries and work-sell spaces.
Emerging from the Jay Street stop of the R train, visitors encounter a wall of orange, red and white containers behind white fencing that holds up a banner to welcome visitors. Passing through an alley between two double stacks of containers, one enters the picnic area and food vendor section of the market. A simple tent covering a series of simple custom made picnic tables, the utilitarian food court typifies the language of the development. Surrounding the court are containers housing local restaurants and cafes. Baristas at the Joe’s Coffee container said that while the morning sun does beat down upon their metal clad cafe, minimal air conditioning and adequate insulation make it a surprisingly pleasant environment.
Ecoficial endeavors to meet the following criteria in the planning and ongoing operation of the market:
Entrepreneurship: To provide an economic opportunity for (and connect the community with) independent entrepreneurs and creative people in four broad categories: Makers, Artists, Farmers, Chefs.
Quality: To carefully curate the quality, originality, and value of offerings to deliver a compelling experience for the community.
Community: Through outdoor placemaking and juxtaposition of uses to create a community gathering and marketplace – not just for products – but also for the intangibles of culture, education, senses, and ideas.
Sustainability: To consciously consider, design and disclose the various systems and resources used by the Market, vendor, product, and visitor (such as water, waste, energy, capital, knowledge, health) to reduce both reliance and impact upon distant places.
On the former site of the Albee Square shopping center between Willoughby and Fulton Streets, the containers are stacked two-high to form a gateway, and they drop to one story along the perimeter of the one-acre lot, which also accommodates a temporary weekend fair. The container vendors include a diverse mix of established and start-up companies, like Robicelli’s cupcakes and Cuzin’s Duzin doughnuts. The vendors each leased their new hubs for one year and could individualize the container interiors. Due to delayed permits, they spent the past two weeks frantically painting, cladding, and soundproofing their cabins to meet the grand opening deadline. Anticipating a warm reception, the partners of Urban Space aim to extend and expand the container community.