Source The Transylvania Times
Despite speculation and some preliminary discussions about its future, sources close to the Transylvania Tailgate Market say they are nowhere near completing a move to the former Brevard Lumber Co. property or any other location in the county.
“I think sometimes things can be misconstrued and there is a lot of talk right now that the tailgate is moving to the lumber company property and that is just not the case,” said Leslie Logemann, owner of the Ms. American Pie Company and regular vendor at the tailgate market.
Josh Leder, of Leder Properties, purchased the 2.5-acre area formerly known as the Brevard Lumber Company on King Street in August.
As part of the plans for revitalizing the property, Leder spoke to representatives from the Tailgate Market about offering them a more permanent location.
Logemann said while the Tailgate Market is looking for a long-term location, it was too early in the process to know where they would end up, if they moved at all.
“The tailgate is definitely interested in having a permanent home and something that could be there for years to come, but what that answer is, we don’t know yet.” she said.
Logemann is part of a four-person committee comprised of tailgate vendors who have been in discussions about their long-term vision and location for the market.
She said while nothing official has been negotiated with Leder, there are possibilities at the lumber company site both sides are willing to explore.
“We don’t have anything concrete as far as a solid offer at this point, but (Leder) has a lot of ideas about what he would like to do for the Tailgate Market,” Logemann said.
Logemann said the lack of protection from inclement weather and the ability to operate the Tailgate Market on a year-round basis were two factors that played into their decision to assess the long-term vision of the market.
The former lumberyard still holds several large apparatus, once used to protect two-by-fours and plywood, that Leder said could now be used to protect vendors and customers from inclement weather, without the cost of new construction.
“I think one of the things that is difficult for them (Tailgate Market) is lugging in their coolers and setting up without any cover from the elements,” Leder said. “Certainly, the infrastructure that currently exists, to try to reduplicate that, would be cost-prohibitive in this type of economy.”
Leder said he planned to continue his discussions with the Tailgate group about their future and would do everything he could to meet their needs should they choose to relocate.
“I really want to make sure to accommodate the needs of the Tailgate Market,” he said. “Whether they want to be here every Saturday or every other Saturday, I think you have to be as user friendly as you can with local businesses.”
Logemann said the Leder property was not the Tailgate Market’s only option.
The City of Brevard has also shown interest in finding a long-term home for the market as part of its downtown development plan.
Currently, the city planning department is working on a public survey to get a better sense of the community’s thoughts and ideas about the Tailgate Market and its future.
“We’re kind of in a wait-and-see phase right now,” Logemann said. “We’re waiting to see what the city comes up with. We’re waiting for a formal proposal from (Leder), and once we have solid offers on the table then we can go ahead and make decisions as a group.”
Andy VonCanon, co-owner and operator of BusyBee Farms, said he saw the positive opportunities the Leder property presented but felt there were too many unknown variables to jump on board just yet.
“I think the Brevard Lumber Company development might be a potential place for us to go, but I feel like this might all be a bit premature because we don’t really know what the lumber company is going to look like or what kind of amenities they plan to offer or what their timeline for opening is,” he said.
The Tailgate Market is currently located behind the Comporium building on East Main Street in Brevard.
VonCanon said while customers had developed a sense of familiarity with the current Tailgate Market location, he didn’t think there would be a loss in business if they were to relocate.
“I personally believe that people have a short memory, and if it were convenient and there were ample parking, I don’t feel like customers would have an issue with the location changing,” he said.
VonCanon said he didn’t think there were any groups within the Tailgate Market vendors who were particularly opposed or in favor of changing locations and as long as they had a place to go, customers could expect to see them every Saturday.
“I don’t feel like there is a faction that really wants to stay or a faction that really wants to relocate,” he said. “The vendors are just of the mindset, ‘wherever it is, it is. We’ll go and we’ll sell.’”
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