Renovated REA Wing Provides New-look Home for Public Market

2017 summer session highlighted by several new features

With Phase II of the renovation to the REA Wing at Union Station complete, the Oneida County Public Market has a new look for its summer session and several new features for visitors.

Completed in April, the vendor area of the Oneida County Public Market has been overhauled both inside and out to provide more space to accommodate the growth of the weekly event, which has continued to flourish since its establishment as an economic development initiative by County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. in June 2011.

“My goal was to build up the economic and community activity downtown, so that we could spur even more activity, and hopefully, more private investment in development,” Picente said. “Union Station is a gem, and I’ve always seen the outstanding potential of the REA Wing. The Public Market continues to be a way that we can capitalize on that potential, while also meeting the needs of local consumers and farmers.”

The REA Wing opened in 1914 as part of Union Station. The long, narrow structure extending to the east of the main station served as a transfer building from the rails to local delivery for over half a century. With the shift from rail to truck transport, use of the facility declined until it was closed in the early 1960s. The REA Wing sat vacant until the county began renovations in 2011.

The first phase of the $3 million-plus project, which involved the interior remodel of where the Oneida County Public Market is housed, was completed in 2012, while the exterior of that area, as well as the exterior of the two-story adjoining building and its first floor interior, was completed as part of Phase II. Phase III, which will renovate the most easterly section of the structure, is slated to begin in spring 2018 and be completed that fall.

In addition to the REA Wing work, the Oneida County Public Market also features several other changes for its summer session, including:

  • A rotating presence of Oneida County Departmental services that will include such things as job vacancies, employment and civil service information and program applications.
  • New vendors such as The Cremeria, Original Herkimer Cheese, Cheese Filled Company, FoJo Beans Coffee, The Boilermaker Road Race, Vets2Farm and Cohen Photography.
  • Partnerships with Fidelis Care, Barnes & Noble and Dr. Mike Lavelle, DDS for the Power of Produce Kids Club.
  • Co-hosting the 2017 Harley-Davidson Revolution Rally with Oneida County Tourism July 13-15.
  • Continued and growing relationship with Utica Food Truck Association to provide fresh ready-to-eat foods at each market.

"The Oneida County Public Market has been a catalyst for the vision of the County Executive for Union Station and Bagg's Square,” said Public Market manager Elizabeth Irons.  “It features the diversity of the high-quality agricultural and artisan products that are produced throughout Oneida County and the region.  The market is thriving with the support of the County Executive and we will continue to meet the needs of our consumers with access to healthy local foods, and create opportunity for our economic and agricultural partners."

The market’s summer session began on May 20 and runs until October. It takes place  Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information or to become a vendor, please visit www.oneidacountymarket.com or call 315-798-3639.