In 2016, David Peavy purchased the Ritchie Grocery building on the corner of Front and Olive Streets. Once completed, his vision for the building - to be renamed 1894 City Market - includes a mix of retail, office space, and loft apartments.
1. What drew you to downtown as a place to start a huge project like this?
I used to run the market on State Line behind Naaman's Barbecue. [Main Street Director] Ina McDowell approached me about possibly moving it downtown. When I started looking around at spaces, this building stood out because of its proximity to the Front Street Festival Plaza. It's a landmark building, I think it's probably the most photographed building in Texarkana.
It will be a great anchor to events, to have something else down here that is open to the public.
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
Everyone can remember walking through the streets, window shopping, etc. Instead of recreating downtown the way it was, I want to see downtown become a different downtown, a new place, where new memories are being made. Investing in creating a place where that happens is what excites me.
3. Can you tell us something interesting you've found in your building?
We have a case of artifacts on the ground floor, in what will become the gallery space, all of which were found in the attic. There is also writing on the wall in two places done by a man named Tom, his first note is dated 1910 and the second 1919.
4. What do you want people to know about your building?
Ritchie Grocery [now 1894 City Market] is ranked #6 on Trip Advisor in Places to See in Texarkana, Arkansas. People come here to take pictures all the time and I encourage people to continue to do so, I think it's great. I hope that it becomes a place that people are even more excited to come to, a true destination in downtown Texarkana.
5. What do you see for downtown's future?
Right now I think that the stars have really aligned for downtown. I used to drive around and notice all the empty buildings, now I'm seeing all of the full buildings. There are definitely still spaces available, but things are falling into place.
Thank you, Mr. Peavy! The building will be open for tours on Saturday, May 13th (and future second Saturdays) in conjunction with its 1894 Second Saturday Trade Days, an open air market for local vendors. You can keep up with them online through Facebook @1894 City Market.