Cross Street Market Survey Shows Desire for Longer Hours

| March 1, 2013 | 2 Comments

Federal Hill Neighborhood Association and Federal Hill Business Association Release:

X-Street Market Survey says …

By Eric Costello and Claire Mullins

In the not-so-distant past, most of Baltimore’s day-to-day shopping was done at the local markets—Cross Street, Broadway, Lexington and others. The markets were the heart and soul of this city. Yet today, with an influx of grocery choices from bulk to gourmet, is the Cross Street Market still relevant, and if not, why? FHNA teamed up again with the Federal Hill Business Association (FHBA) and our friends at SoBo Voice to see what you think about our local Market. FHNA’S goal for conducting this survey with FHBA and SoBo Voice is to help facilitate a much-needed broad discourse on the current state of our Cross Street Market and its future.

With 688 respondents weighing in on the survey, the results are clear: people would be more inclined to visit Cross Street Market if changes were made.  Evening and Sunday hours of operation, an improved appearance both inside and out, and more choices of vendors and items are at the top of the wish list.

Of the 688 respondents, when they travel to the market, 91% walk, 8% drive or bike, and 1% take public transit. Of the respondents, 35% were from Federal Hill, 17% were from Federal Hill South, another 17% from South Baltimore, 11% from Otterbein, 7% from Riverside, 2% from Locust Point, 1% from Key Highway, 1% from Sharpe-Leadenhall, and the remaining  9% were from other parts of the City or Baltimore County.

Here is a quick summary of the responses to each of the questions:

  • How often do you visit the Market? Daily (2%); 2 – 3 times per week (16%); once per week (21%); 1 – 2 times per month (41%); and almost never (21%).
  • Regarding the Market’s current days and hours of operation (Mon – Sat, from 7am – 7pm, closed on Sun), over 59% of respondents felt these hours did not meet their needs, 41% thought the hours / days did meet their needs.
  • About 77% of respondents agreed they would be more likely to shop at the market if it were open on Sundays, 23% did not.
  • If hours were to be extended (respondents could select more than one response), 64% of respondents said they would be willing to shop at the market between 7pm and 9pm.
  • On a rating scale of 1 – 5 (1- poor; 2- fair; 3- good; 4- very good; and 5- excellent), the average ratings for different aspects of the Market were as follows:
    • Cleanliness – 2.44 / 5
    • Friendliness – 3.29 / 5
    • Bathroom Accessibility – 2.19 / 5
    • Handicap Access – 2.82 / 5
    • Relevance to Needs – 2.57 / 5
    • Overall Shopping Experience – 2.76 / 5
  • When asked what changes folks would like to see to at the Market, they responded:
    • Extended Hours of Operation – 48%
    • Open on Sundays – 52%
    • More Choices of Vendors and Options – 74%
    • Improved Appearance – 61%
    • Improved Sanitation – 47%
    • Other – 124 people responded with other innovative ideas.

Many innovative ideas were proposed, from closing off East Cross Street to traffic and installing outdoor stalls and seating, to creating rooftop dining.  Several respondents suggested Belvedere Square or Reading Terminal Market as models for what Cross Street Market could be.  Here’s a sample of (unedited) comments received:

  • Take a look at the Reading Terminal Market and scale that down in size to fit our market. Businesses that LOOK beautiful, have a HIGH perceived value, rather than those that make do with whatever and think “oh well, it is good enough.” Rotisserie chicken or turkey place for to-go meals for families. first class produce and dry good shop.
  • This market is so under appreciated and under utilized. I love what we have but its difficult to get in there in the evening. If it was open until at least 8pm if even for a few nights a week it would be a tremendous benefit.
  • Cross St Market needs to be demolished and rebuilt. All previous efforts to clean the place have not been successful. It needs to be run a private concern and taken from the City market structure. It also needs new and different vendors, like the Belvedere Market.
  • More quality products. In my opinoin, many vendors offer poorer quality products for more money than local stores. If the selection was higher-end or more unique, I’d be willing to pay for it, but in the current state, most are neither.
  • I still miss the wine store; would love to see all the spaces occupied.
  • Close Cross Street road for pedestrians only and make the Market open walled/stalls to that road to allow outside dining. Would help to create a better market feel, attract more tourists, and I think would be the center of the neighborhood.
  • It needs to change, I will never buy, meat, vegetables etc, The area also needs to another area than just slugging back drafts. You are missing your market in federal hill. People want a fun place to go but I would never bring my wife in to watch a game, too many variables, aka drunks.
  • organic products; more local farmers
  • While the market is “open” until 7pm, many vendors shut down by 5:30- I know I’m not home from work at 6:30! We also need a wider variety of “grocery” vendors- there are a lot of ‘quick-bite’ vendors, but I can’t stop in to shop for dinner unless I just want to be eating Meat, cheese, and veggies.
  • The building has all the charm of a juvenile detention center. Restore the windows.
  • The signs on the outside need to be fixed. It looks horrible. (C S ST. M RK T)
  • PLEASE stay open later and open on Sundays!

Lastly, we don’t want to promote one neighborhood business over another. If you want to know which stalls respondents frequent the most, you can to do so online. To view the raw data, visit FHNA’s website or visit


The South Baltimore Now Podcast Latest Episodes Produced by Nathan Carper:

About the Author:

News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.