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Empire State Flea Market Is Closing

It remains unclear what will happen to the space in the rear of the Port Chester Shopping Center that has been home to 150 vendors for more than three decades.

The entrance to the Empire State Flea Market in Port Chester. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.
The entrance to the Empire State Flea Market in Port Chester. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.

 

There appears to be plenty changes afoot at the Port Chester Shopping Center on the Boston Post Road.

But exactly what it all means for shoppers and local merchants is unclear.

The 150 vendors at the popular Empire State Flea Market located in the rear of the center were notified Aug. 3 that the venue where they have set up shop every weekend since 1976, will close Sept. 29.

Kasia Krawczyk, who’s operated Family Treasures Gifts in the flea market for 15 years, said flea market management and a representative of AVR Realty, which manages the shopping center, announced the closure at the Aug. 3 meeting with the vendors. “September 29th is the last day. There is no option to relocate the flea market … It is really sad,” Krawczyk told Port Chester Patch. A reason for the closure wasn’t given, she said.

Voicemail and e-mail messages seeking comment from Norman Lesman of AVR Realty, which manages the property that has Kohl’s, A.I. Friedman, Staples and Party City, and soon, Whole Foods, as part of its stable of retailers, went unanswered this week.

According to the AVR Realty website, the space housing Empire State Flea Market is available.

Moreover, what has vendors upset is that the closure will come two months before the holiday shopping season—a season that most vendors have already pre-ordered extra merchandise, Krawczyk said.  The flea market has offered the vendors of everything from jewelry to clothing and gifts, a secondary income to retail businesses they have or it’s their sole source of income, Krawczyk said.

“There had been rumors that it was closing but management always said there was no truth to them,” she added.

Angela Buceti, the flea market manager, said, “I have no comment at this time,” when contacted by Patch. When asked when she would be able to comment, Buceti said she couldn’t comment.

Also according to the AVR Realty website, DWS Shoe Warehouse will be moving next door to Pier 1 Imports in some of the space formerly occupied by Jembro, a discount clothing and home furnishing store.

About a month ago, FYE—For Your Entertainment—vacated the space it had in a freestanding building at the front of the shopping center. A sign posted on the door announced the closure and did not offer any further information. According to the plans on the AVR website, a “liquor-wine store” is penciled in for the space FYE had occupied.

Earlier this week, a representative for Whole Foods said plans remain on schedule for a fall 2013 opening of the organic, natural grocer.

 

Aidan August 07, 2013 at 09:09 AM
It's been dying for years.
Frank B. August 07, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Good riddance.
Craig Noor August 07, 2013 at 01:07 PM
I find Frank's comment snobbish. Every time I shopped in the flea market I found happy, smiling people. Yes, many merchants there sell low-priced items, but that is appropriate for the setting. It is highly unfortunate that they closed this after people ordered more merchandise for the holiday season, when they do most of their business.
Victoria Cruz-Griffith August 07, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I <3 the Flea Market! So sad to see it go :( P.S. Frank, you're mean.
Julia Rose Arcuri- Mullan August 07, 2013 at 02:19 PM
pc is really looking good these days. ever since Costco arrived there has been a lot of business for the town with awesome bars and places to hang out. Definitely wish pc was like this when i was a kid. i remember going to Hawthorn just to go to the movies! too bad the taxes are crazy high thats why i moved to ct. hopefully in the next ten years the school system will be fixed and maybe taxes could go down lol. Congratulations to the people who are cleaning pc up. Hers to new and better things.
Aidan August 07, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Julia ... thanks for the kind words. The change is more rapid than you think. If you miss PC, well, hop in now because this village is gonna take off ...
Interested Reader August 07, 2013 at 06:36 PM
This closure is good news for PC, the end of the lowest of low budget garbage.
janice kunicki August 07, 2013 at 11:08 PM
it's time for a change....
Aidan August 08, 2013 at 06:07 AM
Janice & Interested Reader ... I'm with you guys. They didn't change with the times ... and the change was all around them. They designed their own end. I'm happy for Port Chester. The village is undergoing a significant transformation. I hope that area is refurbished and put to viable use. It's a prime location within a prime location. I'm certain it'll attract significant interest that'll benefit us all.
John jones August 08, 2013 at 06:33 PM
You are wrong . The flea Market has changed with the times. In case no one has noticed the village population is primarily Spanish. Every area other than upper King St is spanish. Our schools are 70% Spanish. The downtown is Spanish. So in reality the Flea Market changed to serve the demographics of the village. The new "upscale" stores are great but they cater to the surrounding communities people. I have yet to see any decrease in my taxes nor do I expect to. Face it .. PC was lost years ago.
Aidan August 08, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I shop all over ... and I see new arrivers shopping in every store. Why would you assume that they're flea market denizens? Seems a little stereotypical to me.
Kasia Krawczyk August 08, 2013 at 09:21 PM
There are many stores in the flea market; true, some may sell low-priced items, as Craig Noor wrote, but if you look around you can find unique merchandise, not available in any chain stores. It is more than that, it is the place where you can witness the diversified ethnicity of Port Chester and the clashing cultures of North and South. If one keeps an open mind, visiting the flea market can be quite exciting experience. Try sliced mango with salt and lime juice, delicious. On the other note, it is the fault of the managing company who let the flea market fall into disrepair, there have been no improvements since who knows when, and the pleas of the vendors for some changes or even for a new signage went unanswered. I think that the place should be remodeled but it should bring back the ethnic fusion of small stores and restaurants. This is what can make this shopping center stand out from thousands of others with yet another Kohl's, DSW and so on... And you know what, I think that Whole Foods which is coming to this place soon, would not mind.
John jones August 08, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Aidan your misreading my post. All i was saying is the flea market is a shopping place for the spanish of Port Chester. Not stereotypical but fact. Just go look. Its a shame they lose a place to shop as well as all the vendors and employees who lose jobs.
John jones August 08, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Kasia i agree with you. Its a diverse and cultural shopping experience. I go there for many things. Food. Jewelry. Gifts cell phones. The list goes on and on. I believe the corporate big wigs handcuffed the management there when the "upscale" stores started coming in. Lets see what replaces the market.
Pochocit August 09, 2013 at 10:32 AM
PC = Sellout. What's next? Maselli's? Clino's? Original PC joints being replaced by corporate turd dealers that peddle marked-up garbage. Pier 1 = garbage, DSW = garbage. Whole Foods = unethical business practices and marked up "all-natural" foods. The same thing happened with bookstores, home improvement stores, clothing stores, etc. Remember the Vinyl Solution? And what's funny is people eat this up with a smile on their face. Here's a challenge: go take a look at the real prices of the stuff you find in Home Depot and Pier 1 on AliBaba.com. At least in the Flea Pit the money you were giving to these people for garbage was actually helping them survive on their own terms, not on the terms of some buttheads in an ivory tower someplace. Good-bye Comic Book Guy, I bought a lot of fun reading material off of you. Good-bye Video Game Guy, I happily wasted a lot of my time with your used games. Good-bye Gold Dealer Guy, I bought my first girlfriend a ring from you that she still keeps to this day. Soul-Power Brother Number 1, I'll miss your smile and wisdom. Good-bye Military Guy, I still have many of bandanas and rip-stop pants from you. Before you all go I will shop there once more, in solidarity with those who struggle and survive, to show my loyalty to you and to a PC that is being traded in for the culture of mass-production.
Kasia Krawczyk August 09, 2013 at 11:27 AM
That's the spirit Pochocit! I am sure all vendors at the flea are grateful for your support.
BullyOfNMain August 09, 2013 at 11:46 AM
The flea market is being replaced by Jembro. It may not be public knowledge yet but it is. The one place with worse stuff than the Flea Market.
John jones August 09, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Yes i heard Jembro pushed the issue. Its a shame all the workers at the flea market lose their jobs for a crap store like Jembro. A lot of. Flea Market vendors helpers are high school kids earning money and doing the right thing. Will Jembro employ them all? I hope Jembro fails miserably.
Boutros Boutros Ghali August 09, 2013 at 05:37 PM
https://www.change.org/petitions/portchester-empire-state-flea-market-closing-re-instate-the-lease petition to re-instate the lease. will be updated with more information soon
Kasia Krawczyk August 09, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Concerning possible Jembro replacing the flea market, interestingly there are no permits given or even considered by the Village of PC at this time for the flea market location. It is based on the minutes of recent meetings of planning and architectural division. The folks from managing company are probably waiting for the building to be vacated before applying for permits. Cleverly planned. But how can they officially advertise current flea market space as available without obtaining permits and the approval from the village? Is AVR realty above the law or am I missing something?
Marilyn Apolinario August 23, 2013 at 04:52 AM
From what I heard , whole Foods gave the landlord there an ultimatum to get rid of the flea market because it will tarnsish their image . Of course they will not admit it , jembro is crappy store , but they just wanted a better location and like any business they bid for it once they heard the flea market closure announcement . now the whole shopping center is playing musical chairs for better locations within the shopping center. I for one don't see the point of a whole foods in an area where there are so many grocery store options. With their overpriced foods in an area of lower middle income , all it does is attract neighboring towns and not meet the needs of the town it's in. would of been nice to see a bowling alley in that area. Other then bars on south main street there's no real hangout areas in port chester.
Marilyn Apolinario August 23, 2013 at 04:56 AM
if I were the vendors , that is pretty short notice that they received and they should consider banding together and getting a lawyer .
LauraR August 23, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Oof, that's really not good notice. Probably is in their lease but I can see why the merchants would be upset. If they are moving the liquor store up to FYE, wonder what's going in its current location? Maybe the 2 Dress Barns will move into that space. Agreed that something more useful than Jembro should go on the lower level.
Karl Somers August 25, 2013 at 02:49 PM
way to put small business out of business,enough is enough.say no to big business its bad for us all. boycott big business
Kasia Krawczyk August 25, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Well, there soon be nothing else but big businesses around here. For now the vendors are hoping to have court ordered the postponement of market closing till the end of the year.
Bill October 21, 2013 at 02:05 AM
So, they apparently got an extension to stay thru the end of the year, and the vendors are happy. http://www.lohud.com/article/20131009/NEWS/310090039/
Bill October 21, 2013 at 02:06 AM
PS to the author of this article, it's DSW not DWS. And did Jembro close but is/was going to reopen where the flea market is currently? Why would they close before having a new store available?

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