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Without brewery or funding, future of Auburn’s riverside market unclear

When the city of Auburn applies for $10 million in state funding June 1, its application could shed light on the future of one of the city's most prominent downtown areas.

In 2016, the city proposed closing the segment of Loop Road between Genesee and North streets and building a Riverside Regional Public Market there. The market would become the permanent home of the Auburn Farmers Market, showcase regional food and beverage production and complement the nearby Owasco River Greenway Trail, which is now under construction.

"We believe downtown Auburn's next great chapter will be written where the Owasco River meets the Harriet Tubman Memorial Highway — commonly known as Route 34 — with projects designed to provide economic transformation for our city center that will significantly contribute to regional economic growth," Mayor Michael Quill said that year.

Quill's remarks came as Auburn revealed its application for the first round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, a state competition that awards $10 million to the cities, one in each region, with the best ideas how to invest that money in their urban centers. The market was one of many proposals in Auburn's application. Shortly after the application was filed, the market got another anchor tenant in Prison City Pub & Brewery, whose owners announced plans to build a production facility there to meet demand for the brewpub's critically acclaimed beers.

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