DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Farmers Market is looking for new management who are interested in redeveloping the property.

The city of Dallas released an ‘RFP’ or Request for Proposals this week, seeking bids from investors wanting to take over its operation.

The city is losing close to a million dollars a year running the farmers market – and has been looking for ways to stop bleeding money.

John Lumpkins, better known as ‘Little John’ at the market, has been selling plants there since 1971 when he was in high school.  He worries a private owner could drastically reduce the size of the market.

The RFP requires bidders to come up with a plan that keeps at least 60,000 square feet open for vendors, who currently have about 100,000 square feet of space.

“Downsizing.  I think that’s the worst thing we can do,” said Paul Gray, whose family has been selling corn at the market for more than 30 years.

The city is interested in a plan that would add parks and gathering areas, and that could ultimately spur housing and commercial development in the surrounding area.

It also appears interested in a plan that will limit the city’s losses.

“Under any operating plan there should be no expectation that there will be any funds available from the city to offset any ongoing operating losses,” reads the RFP.


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