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.