Plans call for a high-end market on the ground level of the apartment building 520 Park.
Plans call for a high-end market on the ground level of the apartment building 520 Park. (520 Park's Facebook page.)

If the Time Group and development director Dominic Wiker have their way, the 15,000 square feet of empty space on the first floor of the newly renovated 520 Park apartment building will transform into Midtown and Mount Vernon's first high-end market. They hope to open the Mount Vernon Marketplace at 520 Park Ave. in the spring of 2015.

As developers of the building, they just received their liquor license for the space, and plan to have 14 vendors specializing in various prepared food, beer, wine, and groceries. Asked what they'll be modeling it after, Wiker said, "The thing that really sealed the deal for us was when we saw Union Market [in Washington, D.C.]."

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Having recently visited the two-year-old swank D.C. market, we have to admit that's a pretty lofty goal—it's a cornucopia of artisanal food (and well-heeled patrons). Wiker said they have 11 letters of intent but couldn't divulge specific vendor names, but he did expound that, "We've got a dumpling guy, we have a breakfast place that's well known in the market, we have folks coming up from D.C. and folks from well-known restaurants in town who are spinning off and doing their own thing. We will have three to five different folks serving alcohol, we have one vendor specifically selling craft beer and wine."

When completed, the market will be open from 6 a.m.-11 p.m., with room for 108 indoor seats and a permit for outdoor seating and live entertainment.

Additionally, Wiker tells us that the group has just signed a lease with Annapolis' Ceremony Coffee Roasters to open up a shop within the same building, just south of the proposed market. As Wiker explains it, "A lot of the things will be very specific—we wanted our tenants to do one thing and be kick-ass at it."

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