WASHINGTON, DC (September 24, 2015) --
A two-year extension of its license to operate The Flea Market at Eastern Market Sundays on the 300 block of 7th Street SE on Capitol Hill, was signed this week by Michael Berman, President of Diverse Markets Management (DMM) the D.C. company that manages the popular flea market.

The signing with the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS) effectively ended an effort, announced by a DGS employee in August, to seize the flea's business at the end of this month. Berman said, "This reversal is a direct result of a letter-writing and online petition campaign we had to launch to save the market from government control.
"And I'd like to thank the hundreds of people who participated in the campaign, which stated  'DC: DO WHAT'S RIGHT,'" Berman continued. "In particular local media interest generated for the story was very helpful as well."

Berman singled out Forest Hayes, Associate Director for Portfolio Management of DGS, who oversees Eastern Market and its license to the Flea Market, "for his quick response and support for the DGS extension."

The Flea Market at Eastern Market has been held Sundays in the Capitol Hill neighborhood outside the historic Eastern Market since 1984. It was developed by Tom Rall, a founding member in 2005 of DMM. Until mid-May it had operated for more than 20 years outside the adjacent Hine School, when it was relocated to the 7th Street location due to development.

"Rather than destroy a longstanding vibrant marketplace with rich cultural and artistic diversity, we appreciate that city leadership recognized the importance of continuing our enterprise," Berman concluded.


WASHINGTON, DC (August, 2015) --
I am sorry to report that the City is taking drastic action against our storied market. After strong community support to "Save The Flea Market" from development, a partial solution allowing us to operate in the 300 block of 7th Street SE was found. Now the City wants to take over management for itself.

The campaign to AGAIN save The Flea Market at Eastern Market will resurrect with an online petition posted at the site and through letter writing to District government officials.

The campaign is prompted by the termination of the market’s contract under the Department of General Services (DGS), administered through Eastern Market manager and DGS employee Barry Margeson.
The reason for the termination has primarily been made official through an email from Margeson to Eastern Market related vendors, and shows that DGS plans to take over the market effective the first Sunday in October.
The reason for our contract was to protect the displaced independent flea market business from the redevelopment of the Hine Junior High School site, 7th and C Streets, SE, where the Flea Market operated for 20 years. The letter states:

At the end of July, the Department of General Services (DGS) extended the Licenses to Operate for the two companies that manage the weekend markets on the 300 block of 7th Street SE. The Licenses are with Washington Arts, Antiques, Crafts & Collectible Associates, Inc. and Diverse Markets Management, LLC. You may not be familiar with these names but they are the entities that have managed the markets on the 300 block for the last few months and that managed the markets in the Hine School parking lot before that.
DGS extended their Licenses for two months, until September 30th, 2015. After that date, the Eastern Market staff, which manages the rest of the market, will begin managing the 300 block as well.
We expect that there will be questions about how this will change things for customers and for the vendors who sell on the 300 block. The truth is that customers won’t notice much change. And there won’t be much change for the vendors either: All of the vendors who sell there now will be given the opportunity to keep selling, if they wish. We figure that the majority of them will decide to do so.



We firmly believe that DGS management cannot adequately manage the flea markets, would not attempt to accommodate everyone, nor would the public not notice such a change.

Further, we firmly believe that the premise for terminating the market is merely a pretext and that there is no reason the City, either through DGS or another agency, could not have The Flea Market at Eastern Market continue to operate on 7th Street as the public, the developer, the ANC, the Council and the Mayor initially agreed.

We are taking necessary actions legally to attempt to prevent this hostile takeover of our business.

We thank you for your support and active involvement. Please write to the following representatives to tell them how important the independently operated Flea Market at Eastern Market is to the Eastern Market area, socially, culturally and economically and how important protecting a DC business is for the viability of the DC economy, business incubation and for employment. We currently employ 15 people. Most will lose their jobs if DC government steals our business.

o The Mayor [], [],
o Ward 6 Liaison for Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services Seth Shapiro []
o Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen [],
o At large Council members Elissa Silverman [] and David Grosso []
o Department of General Services Interim Director Jonathan Kayne []
o Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Director Brian Kenner []
o ANC6b representative for Eastern Market Diane Hoskins []

We ask that DC government officials help save the flea market, its vendor base, and the community’s enjoyment of the weekly event on 7th Street SE.

We will post email links to officials, a link to the petition and more information on our website and facebook page as it becomes available.


Michael Berman
Executive Director | Diverse Markets Management | 202.215.6993 | @DMMevents
The Flea Market at Eastern Market | Every Sunday | @FleaMarketatEmk | facebook