The City of Dickinson and the Dickinson Economic Development Corporation (DEDC) began working on this project in February of 2015. As an initial step in this process, the DEDC hired an outside independent national consultant, Roger Brooks International, to evaluate potential projects and opportunities to revitalize, brand, and market Dickinson.
A primary recommendation of this outside evaluation was the development of a Public Market with access to the Dickinson Bayou in order to create a unique destination, increase the number of visitors, and provide opportunities for entrepreneurial growth and development within the City.
The DEDC then undertook a number of steps to determine the feasibility of such an undertaking for the City. Members of the DEDC traveled to New York to enroll in a Public Market Training Program in the fall of 2015 and the DEDC Board hired Aaron Zaretsky, Principal of Public Market Development to conduct a formal Feasibility and Site Analysis study. Mr. Zaretsky has been involved in creation of Public Markets throughout the world and is a highly-respected expert in this field with over 30 years of Public Market development and management experience. His website including his resume and references may be found at www.publicmarketdevelopment.com.
Zaretsky has a reputation of discouraging communities to undertake such projects if the opportunity for success is limited. After visiting Dickinson and interviewing a number of citizens, Mr. Zaretsky became convinced of the unique opportunity and likely success of a Public Market in Dickinson.
The DEDC Board of Directors unanimously voted to continue to work with Mr. Zaretsky to develop site plans, a business proposal, and the infrastructure to move forward with this project. The Board then formally adopted the development of a Dickinson “Retail Trade Center” as a major “Project” of the DEDC at its December 2015 meeting with an initial budget to fund program development and steps necessary to move the project forward. The DEDC Board met with City Council to discuss the proposed project and the project was unanimously approved. The project was formally announced to the public in January 2018 and will likely begin construction within a year.
This concept is the result of months of planning, several visits to Dickinson by Mr. Zaretsky, and visits to Dickinson and conference calls with Mark Ernst, and members of the Architectural team at Engberg Anderson who have provided invaluable insight and vision in generating the renderings included on this website as well as contributing to the collective vision for the Public Market in Dickinson. Members of the DEDC Board have also visited several other Public Markets and have been involved in reviewing and guiding the consultant’s work from the beginning.