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Summer can be the most magical of times, especially when neighborhood street markets begin to pop up. Suddenly, DC is bustling with outdoor concerts, homemade crafts and fresh local produce. Oh, yes. THE JOYS OF SUMMER.
The market was a tad small but the community spirit (and shopping selection!) was G-R-E-A-T. Vintage clothing, jewelry of all kinds, artisanal food creations, beauty products and house wares. SO MANY charming handmade pieces.
Most of The Flea Market at Eastern Market will be eliminated under a development proposal for the site of Hine Junior High School that will go before the DC Zoning Board on June 14.
Developers Stanton-EastBanc and the DC Zoning Board have to find a home for The Flea Market at Eastern Market that will work for the exhibitors and their legions of customers.
The market provides up to 150 spaces for vendors and approximately 15,000 people visit the flea market on a typical weekend. Everything from antique furniture to maps, art, photography, clothing and textiles are sold. The Flea Market at Eastern Market has been a vibrant incubator space for small businesses as well as a treasured neighborhood meeting place. When the original Eastern Market building was gutted by fire in 2006 The Flea Market at Eastern Market carried on. It’s a neighborhood institution and a landmark in its own right.
Despite pledges of the developers to preserve the market, albeit at half the current size, the proposal actually cuts by two-thirds the space for vendors and customers, eliminating 38,000 square feet of market space from the current configuration. Water features, street furniture and plantings are continually being added to the design that will further reduce usable space.
A reconfigured design could accommodate the Flea Market. It is the responsibility of the developers and the DC Zoning Board to resolve these issues and secure a viable home for the market before the project is allowed to proceed.