Utica, NY (WIBX) - Starting this Saturday, area residents will have a new place to frequent for their shopping experience.

The Oneida County Public Market is opening its doors from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., featuring a diverse selection of products including fresh produce, and other locally crafted items. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr., and several other county officials gave a preview of the economic and community development project taking root at Union Station.

Naming several institutions and area businesses, Picente said Baggs Square is becoming a center where business opportunities are developing. "This is a very exciting opportunity to celebrate local commerce and community. Through Oneida County's long-standing partnership with Oneida County Cooperative Extension, we have worked with a number of vendors and other partners to provide a unique blend of vendors committed for the year who will be offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, yogurts, prepared food, along with arts and crafts," Picente said.

The long term project will eventually include a year round indoor public market. The historic site where vendors will sell their products will be undergoing a delicate renovation that officials predict will be partially completed by September of this year and cost roughly $250,000. In time, and will enough funding, they say the entire corridor will be open to the public. Many of the activities predicted for the future include a partnership with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and other events already taking place in the general area.

Picente said the space have the potential to rival other markets such as Markets At Grand Central Terminal and South Street Seaport in NYC. "My goal is to build up the economic and community activity downtown, so that we can spur even more redevelopment and more private investment in the heart of Utica. Union Station is a gem, and the entire site has outstanding potential. The Public Market is a creative 21st century way of capitalizing on that potential, and create a special gathering place for families and friends," Picente said.

Officials say Cornell Cooperative Extension hired Brix and Company to undertake the renovation project. Also, interested vendors are encouraged to contact the Market at info@oneidacountypublicmarket.com to sign up to join the movement to bring locally produced products to area residents.