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This locally sourced meat and produce market could be coming to downtown Gainesville
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Grubs Market is likely coming to downtown Gainesville, offering locally-sourced produce and meat and charcuterie. - photo by Conner Evans

Update, April 19: The Gainesville City Council unanimously approved Tuesday $210,575 in tax allocation district funds for Grubs Market to be built at 511 Main St.

A locally sourced market with fresh produce, meats and cheeses is likely coming to downtown Gainesville, designed for fancy dinner parties or grab-and-go meals. 

Grubs Market would be the only such food market and meat shop in the downtown area, and owners Robert Turner and Daniel Stribling said the completion of Solis Gainesville within walking distance made the project attractive. Grubs Market would be at 511 Main St. just behind Danny’s Donuts. Turner said it would increase the walkability of the area, allowing residents at the 220 apartments next door to buy mostly Georgia-grown produce, meat and other basic items. 

“The Solis addition, had that not happened, I don’t know that we would be going over there,” Stribling said. 

One of the market’s main features would be a “meat shop on steroids,” Turner said, where customers could take prepared meals to go or order custom cuts of meat, including beef, poultry, pork and seafood. It would be designed for several price points, Turner said, not only up-scale products. 

It would also include craft beer, wine, cheeses and other specific items for charcuterie, Turner said, as well as some basic groceries. 

“What we’re trying to create is a little bit up-scale and more customer-focused — focus on local foods and local produce in our market,” Turner said. 

The project would cost about $1.9 million, including renovations to the current building with a rebricked exterior, outdoor seating and local art planned on two sides. The building would contain about 2,800 square feet of customer-accessible space. 

Turner and Stribling presented their plan for Grubs Market to the tax allocation district advisory committee Wednesday, March 30, asking for $210,575 in tax allocation district funds, essentially tax rebates for developments that improve the value of existing property for eligible expenses.

The midtown TAD was set up in 2006, and participating properties are taxed at the rate established in the TAD’s base year. As the value of that property increases, what would normally be an increased amount paid in property taxes instead goes into the TAD fund for an agreed upon period of time.

Grubs Market rendering
Grubs Market, seen in this rendering, is likely coming to downtown Gainesville, offering locally sourced produce and meat and charcuterie.

The developer property owner pays their full property tax bill each year with this increment being deposited into the TAD fund, then the TAD eligible expenses are reimbursed to the developer or owner. The investment is expected to be recouped due to the expected increase in property value.

The committee unanimously approved Grubs market for its full request of $210,575 to be paid over 15 years, with the condition that the project remain a market for the duration of the TAD. The current building is a dilapidated former warehouse and the plans to rebrick its facade, paint it, improve its parking lot and add outdoor seating would be eligible expenses for TAD funds. 

“Some of why everybody likes this project is because it adds some vitality to the area,” said Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard. “It is a market, something that has been identified as a need, especially a walkable market for our downtown.” 

City Councilman Danny Dunagan agreed, saying it would also generate sales tax money for the city and county. 

“We’re really trying to focus on locally sourced product,” Turner said. “We’re really trying to focus on the northern hemisphere of Georgia, although we are looking at a lot of different farms in South Georgia to bring product up here as well.” 

Turner said the project would likely not get done without the TAD funding. The commitment from the city makes it easier to get a loan from a bank, he explained, because the bank then knows that the TAD funds will come in over a period of time. 

The market is expected to open by the end of June, the owners said. 

The recommendation from the committee will go before Gainesville City Council for a final vote on April 19.