The Mercat de Sant Antoni re-opens in MayAll that remains is for stallholders to move in. Local residents in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood are about to witness the start of the transformation of the surrounding area, with the market as the focus for local commerce, more urban greenery and more space reclaimed from traffic. At the same time, the usage plan to regulate the economic fabric of the neighbourhood is also being finalised.
Structural work at the Mercat de Sant Antoni is now finished and stallholders just have to move in. Once they have, in April, a joint decision will be taken on the definitive re-opening date for this historical market. Besides commercial activity, the market will also have been regained for the neighbourhood and Barcelona residents on the whole.
In parallel, the programme for the Sant Antoni super block means the former market yards, which used to act as logistics areas for loading and unloading at the market’s storage facilities, have now made way for a new square for the neighbourhood. The use to be made of the square was debated at the end of 2016 with the project ‘Omplim de barri el mercat’, the results of which have now been outlined to local residents.
The revamp of the market also means valuable archaeological remains have been regained for the city, such as Roman tombstones and the moat and remains of the medieval city wall.
Much more than a market
The building has a total floor space of 53,300 square metres and is built on five levels. Stalls selling fresh produce number 52 in total and will be located at street level, inside the main building. The 105 stalls making up the flea market will be located in corridors around the market perimeter, which can be closed off to individualise their use.
The 78 stalls making up the Sunday book market will be located outside the enclosure, on opposite pavements along C/ Tamarit and C/ Comte d’Urgell. A three metre high lightweight marquee structure will also installed and will have some retractable sections.
On the first underground floor a large central foyer has been built, highlighting the medieval remains and offering access to two commercial concessions: a supermarket, which has already been awarded, and a non-foodstuff establishment, currently in the process of being awarded. The lower floors will be for loading and unloading, also housing a car park with 400 spaces for customers.
The facility is also equipped with a 500 square metre space for local residents, with a communal cookery room, an area for young people, a multi-purpose and exhibition area and an office for entities and neighbourhood cooperation.
A neighbourhood for local residents
The renovation of the market coincides with street calming measures to facilitate the use of the whole area by the public, part of the super block programme for Sant Antoni. Up to 26,000 square metres will be regained, creating space in one of the city’s densest neighbourhoods. Greenery will also be increased and space for motor vehicles drastically reduced, a parallel transformation to the project planned for Ronda Sant Antoni.
The Councillor for Business, Tourism and Commerce and Markets, Agustí Colom, affirmed that the opening “not only means an excellent market for local residents and the city, but also the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni regaining its economic drive and, as a result, starting to get back to normal”.
To this end, the District of L’Eixample is finalising the usage plan to regulate economic activity in the neighbourhood. The issuing of new licences for establishments has been on hold since February 2017 while the plan was drafted. The plan must protect local commerce, preserve public interests and compatibility between commercial activity and local residents.