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City Councilors are concerned that proposed renovations at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace might force out some of the complex's familiar pushcart vendors.
Councilors Stephen Murphy and Michael Flaherty on Wednesday requested a public hearing to talk about the impact the vendors have on the "economic vitality" of the city. The councilors said the vendors, a number of whom sell Boston-themed or locally made products from small merchant stands, are important part of the marketplace's history and appeal.
"Why mess with success?" Murphy said.
A number of other councilors supported the sentiment, noting that many push cart owners weathered recent economic downturns and helped keep the area vibrant. "If we truly believe in small businesses, we have to support these pushcart vendors," said Councilor Tito Jackson.
The marketplace is located next to historic Faneuil Hall, which was the site of a number of historic speeches during the American Revolution and is one of the country's most visited historic sites. It is comprised of three long buildings - Quincy Market, North Market and South Market - that house about 70 retailers and eateries as well as about 40 office tenants.
The hearing request was referred to the council's Committee on Economic Development, Planning & Labor.
The Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., the New York-based real estate investment firm that has operated the city-owned market since 2011, did not comment on the councilor's concerns. It has proposed modernizing the facility, including overhauling the layout of Quincy Market's often jam-packed food court and introducing new retail options, public spaces and a boutique hotel.
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