Sunday Flea Market Expects To Move to 7th Street With Minimal Loss of Vendors
Community Meeting Tonight Will Provide Details on Flea Markets and Hine Construction
by Larry Janezich
Sunday Flea Market operator Mike Berman says he’s not excited to move to the street on May 16, but he thinks it is workable. He has a plan for reconfiguring the vendor space on 7th street to maximize vendor space during each of the three construction phases (demolition, excavation, and construction) although at the cost of reduced retail space for vendors. The operation will shrink to 66 spaces on Saturday, May 16, but Berman says he expects to accommodate all of his permanent people – those who have been with him a long time as well as many of his regular vendors.
The key, he says, is an agreement that market vendors will be able to set up on public space which the city has allocated to the Hine developers for construction space. This includes a strip of grass between the Hine parking lot fence and 7th Street which will allow for 21 additional vending spaces during the demolition phase. That number could grow to as many as 40 during the excavation and construction phases through utilization of the sidewalk adjacent to the current Hine building on 7th Street.
Without the use of this public space, Berman would have been faced with a substantial reduction in the size of his operation – as it is, he expects to lose only 12 – 20 vendors – some have decided not to make the extra effort involved in the move to the street, and some have decided to seek space as part of the weekend Eastern Market outside vendors who operate around Eastern Market and on7th Street between C Street and North Carolina Avenue..
Sunday Flea Market vans and trucks will park in the surface lot at 6th and C Streets for a flat rate of $10 a day. The same rate will be applied for smaller vendor vehicles and for public parking in the 100 spaces in the underground garage opening onto Pennsylvania Avenue next to Sizzling Express.
Berman says “the move to 7th Street will help vendors by saying that everybody visiting Eastern Market has got to walk by the vendors – and it helps Eastern Market by creating a really festive street.”
More details will be forthcoming at a community meeting tonight at 5:30pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market. Matthew Harris, Stanton EastBanc Hine project manager, will provide an update on the Hine redevelopment.Barry Margeson, Eastern Market Manager, (who will oversee the 7th Street flea Market operations on behalf of the Department of General Services)will provide an update on the transition of the flea markets to their new location as well as provide updates on traffic flow and parking changes.