Size of Weekend Flea Market Cut in Half in Hine Development Plan:
Developer Suggests Options Exist for Accommodating Overflow Elsewhere
by Larry Janezich
Tuesday night, the ANC6B passed a recommendation to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on the two remaining Hine buildings coming before the Board next week. The memo expresses the ANC’s concern about the downsizing of the popular weekend flea market as the result of confining it to the plaza planned for the intersection of 7th and C Streets.
The memorandum notes, “[w]hile the size of the plaza itself has not changed since February, the number of tents it is depicted to support has changed.” The memo goes on to note that the original RFP (Request for Proposal) plans called for support for over 100 tents. “Plans presented in February 2011 depicted 72 tents,” the ANC noted, and “the latest design depicts 68 tents. The current weekend market supports up to 140 10×10 tents. While the Board (HPRB) has given preliminary approval to the overall site plan, the apparent reduction of weekend market space suggests that the Board might want to review alternate configurations that would meet the terms of the city agreement and respond to community input.”
In a meeting with neighbors last Sunday night, StantonEastbanc suggested that there were ways to accommodate additional tents. Ideas floated at that meeting included closing C Street between 6th and 7th Street, or 7th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and C Streets on weekends. Those ideas, however, appear problematic, at least on their face, given the controversy which arose over Mayor Fenty’s decision to close 7th Street next to Eastern Market on weekends. Another idea which has emerged in previous neighborhood discussions is using Eastern Market Metro Plaza for part of the weekend market.
Commissioner Garrison urged, while making clear he was not pushing for an increase in the number of spaces for tents, that the developer enter into a conversation with “Eastgern Market” about how many tents were actually needed for the weekend market. Commissioner Metzger suggested that a reduction in the total number of tents might be beneficial, raising the “quality,” though he did not specify what he meant by that.
The final version of the memorandum, which passed on a 9-0 vote, contained an ANC recommendation that the developer discuss the weekend market with flea market managers. Commissioner Brian Pate noted that the language was being agreed to in the context of new legislation from Councilmember Wells’ office to restructure the Eastern Market management. It is unclear how this may affect the timing or nature of these discussions.
The developer’s current plan for a double row of back to back tents on the project’s plaza can be viewed here: http://www.hineschool.com/sites/default/files/julyhprbbook.pdf (Scroll down to L-03, about 19 pages down in the document.)