BY PASHA FARMANARA | The Marketplace at St. Anthony’s resumed its annual flea market on March 7 under new management. The market will be stationed at its original location, on the south side of W. Houston St. between Thompson and MacDougal Sts., but will feature a new set of vendors.
Through its 20 years of existence, it had held itself as one of the premier flea markets in the city, but its quality recently had begun to diminish.
By the end of last year’s market, only a handful of vendors appeared to showcase their products.
Father John, pastor of St. Anthony’s Church, which receives revenue from the market, decided to make a switch. He removed the flea market’s old manager and brought in Metro Festival Productions LLC.
According to its Web site, Metro Festival runs eight flea markets in New York City, as well as a number of other special events.
“We had in excess of 70 vendors contact us expressing interest in the market, which we knew would happen once word got out that the market was under new management,” James Lamorte, Metro Festival’s principal owner, said.
One major problem prior to the management change was the market’s inability to keep up with the standards of the surrounding neighborhood.
“Major changes will be a conversion to a more upscale market keeping in sync with the neighborhood,” said Lamorte. “We will also be promoting the market citywide to make it a destination and not just rely on walk-by traffic.”
The flea market will have the same hours of operation as before, open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. till dusk.