Nov 3, 2017: Flea Market Uncertainty Resolved... For Now

FLEA MARKET EXTENDS CONTRACT, EXPANDS

The popular Flea Market at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill will continue to operate on the 300 block of Seventh Street SE for the next seven months beginning Sunday and will also regain space on C Street SE beginning Sunday, November 12, Michael Berman, President of Diverse Markets Management (DMM), the market manager, announced today.

"We signed the seven-month license extension at a 52.5% fee increase with the City's Department of General Services (DGS) under duress last week," Berman said. "Under a separate contract to the developer the adjacent C Street location between 7th and 8th Streets, SE will be available for our occupancy, after several delays, next week.

"So, the upshot of all the activity is DMM has reopened applications for the flea," he continued. Applications were closed after construction began on the redevelopment of the former Hine Junior High School site, where the flea was located for more than 20 years. Simultaneously, the flea moved onto the much smaller 7th St. location in May 2015.  DMM signed a three-year lease with the developers for the C Street location several months ago.

"With a virtual gun to our head, DMM had pretty much no choice but to sign the short-term license after DGS threatened to 'begin moving forward with alternative solutions for maintaining a market,'" Berman continued. "Primarily, we wanted to provide opportunities for both our permanent exhibitors and those regulars on our waiting list to take advantage of the holiday retail season, which is essential to their small businesses."

He urged potential exhibitors to "take advantage of our openings and sign up to vend" at our online registration page.

Advertised market hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday. The market is located across Pennsylvania Ave., SE from the Eastern Market metro station on the orange, blue and silver lines. 

DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY MARKET COMING SOON

Speaking of the holiday retail season, Berman also announced that exhibitor selection for the popular Downtown Holiday Market, which kicks off its 13th year Friday, Novermber 24, has been completed and exhibitor spaces assigned for the entire 30-day run through December 23.
   
The event is located on the wide sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery along F Street NW between 7th & 9th Streets, NW. Advertised hours are Noon to 8 pm each day.
   
The complete participation schedule of all exhibitors is here.
   
Berman noted that DestinationDC "just gave the market an exceptional plug on its web page." The plug was headlined: "This Magical holiday marketplace in Washington , DC is worth multiple trips thanks to a rotating cast of vendors and performers!"

"We really appreciate our membership in DC's main promotional agency and the ongoing co-sponsorship of the holiday market by The DowntownDC Business Improvement District," Berman concluded.

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT BEGINS

A few weeks ago we reported that Shefa Benoit, a DC-based oral historian, was planning interviews about the history, development and impact of The Flea Market at Eastern Market, started in 1984 by DMM Communications Director Tom Rall. Benoit has launched the undertaking.  Titled "Spoken Treasures: Narratives of The Flea Market at Eastern Market," read about it here.