Once again the Row will occupy the middle of the street on the 300 West block of 700 South with shipping containers, a stage, food trucks and biergarten.
The inaugural 2013 season ran for 55 days from June to November with an estimated 10,000 guests during the full season.
The 2015 season will be a few months shorter, running from 6-10 p.m every weekend for the next three months. Nick Nervous and Mark Engel are the music acts scheduled to provide the live music for opening night beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The idea for Granary Row was partially inspired by a May 2011 block party, intended to launch the Granary District name, increase awareness of the neighborhood and create a sense of space and community.
“People were talking about a neighborhood that they didn’t have a name for before that,” said Christian Harrison, a founding partner at the Kentlands Initiative and Chair of the Downtown Community Council. “Naming something allows people to own it. People lived there, played there but there wasn’t a lot of ownership.”
According to Harrison, around 2,000 showed up to the first block party.
The results of the block party led to a 2012 community charrette (an intensive design or planning workshop) hosted by the Kentlands Initiative, a nonprofit focused on neighborhood growth. The charette lasted for seven days with 19 sessions and over 500 participants.
During the charrette, the community identified the neighborhood’s large streets as a potential obstacle to neighborhood growth. According to Harrison, streets make up nearly one-third of the 100 acres that compromise the Granary District.
Granary Row planners decided to continue the theme of a block party and take advantage of the large streets by placing the popup market in the middle of 700 South.
“Popup events are a huge catalyst for development,” said Harrison.
Granary Row’s first season had seven retailers participate. Three of those retailers, Diabolical Records, Just Fold Bikes, Mineral Matter, were startups that premiered at Granary Row and moved to permanents spaces at the end of the season.
The City and the Redevelopment Agency contributed $150,000, about half of the original costs, for the 2013 season. The other $150,000 came from neighborhood organizations and businesses.
This season will be funded entirely by private sponsors, including a grant from the Folger Family Foundation.
Tom Bennett of Sweat Salt Records will manage the event programing with two bands planned for every night.
Food Truck Underground will program the food with two food trucks and one dessert new truck.
There will be eight retail containers this season including local businesses: Iron Rose Collection, Mineral Matter and Daley Menswear.
Granary Row organizers want the 2015 season to continue building interest in the neighborhood and support local businesses. Harrison hopes that events like Granary Row will also attract “organic” development in the neighborhood.
“There are people in the neighborhood doing amazing things,” said Harrison. “You can’t replace that home grown character with instant development.”