Benning Market food hall breaks ground in Ward 7

A Benning Market food hall is coming to the District. (Courtesy Neighborhood Development Company)

Food halls are popping up all over the Washington region and now one is opening in D.C.’s Ward 7.

Developers and city officials Tuesday broke ground on Benning Market food hall, the first multiple-use market and eatery space east of the Anacostia River.

Developers Neighborhood Development Company and Asturian Construction’s food hall, at 3451 Benning Road NE, will permanently house several food stalls, as well as a community grocery store.

Benning Market will be home to Market 7, founded in 2017, a community marketplace that features a wide variety of black-owned businesses selling food and other lifestyle products. It will lease the entire 7,000 square-foot ground floor for a community food hall and small grocery store.

Market 7 has already hosted more than 60 small businesses in the Ward 7 community through a series of pop-up markets.

Market 7 has partnered with local urban farmers and entrepreneurs on the Market 7 and Benning Market project to address the limited foot options in Ward 7. It says over 80% of Ward 7 residents in a recent survey said they traveled to Ward 6 or Maryland to shop for some or all of their food and grocery needs.

“Benning Market will create an opportunity for small businesses to provide products and services for residents in Ward 7 who have been without sustainable and accessible food options for several years,” Market 7 founder Mary Blackford told WTOP.

“This incubation will result in better physical and economic health for the community at large,” she said.

The mixed-use Benning Market development, in the River Terrace neighborhood, will be 12,400 square feet. Last year, Neighborhood Development Company raised $257,000 from community residents through a crowdsourcing campaign on SmallChange.com.

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