No more ‘hunt and haggle’: Long-running Chelsea Flea Market closes down

Facebook Chelsea Flea Market
(Facebook/Chelsea Flea Market)

The Annex Chelsea Flea Market, which ran on West 25th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway since 1976, won’t be reopening this year.

“Chelsea Flea Market has closed,” reads a message on the Annex Markets website. “Thank you, everyone, for more than 40 years of the ‘hunt and haggle’ for antiquities, art, collectibles, ephemera, vinyl, vintage, and all manner of the decorative arts, from pre-Victorian to mid-century modern and more!”

The final weekend of the flea market was on Dec. 28 and 29.

Alan Boss, who ran Annex Markets since 1976, told The New York Times that the landlords of the space didn’t renew the lease for weekends, and he didn’t know if he would be able to find another space.

The space is owned by an LLC which has real estate developer Lawrence Friedland as an officer, the Times noted, and Manhattan Parking Group leased the space to Boss on weekends. Manhattan Parking Group and Friedland Properties did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“The current location was the last available lot of any size,” Boss told the Times.

The Chelsea Flea Market did not immediate respond to a request for comment about the possibility of a future location for the market, or further details on why the lease wasn’t renewed.

Andy Warhol was a regular at the Chelsea Flea Market, which at one time was the city’s largest flea market, the Times noted.

In 1994, Boss opened an indoor market, The Garage, on West 25th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. That market ran until June 2014 — “a casualty of real estate development,” according to Annex Markets — and its vendors then merged with the Chelsea Flea Market.

Annex also started the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, on West 39th Street and Ninth Avenue, which consolidated with Chelsea Flea Market in January 2019.

A timeline of the Annex Markets on its website says of 2006, that “After almost 30 years of outdoor commerce-delight and top-notch haggling, most of the original Annex locations along Sixth Avenue in the West 20s were displaced by high-rise residential buildings.”

The Chelsea Flea Market held on until 2019, but finally closed as the “final chapter” of the Annex Markets run in the area, according to its site.

The Upper West Side market Grand Bazaar NYC is open to accepting about 50 of the Chelsea vendors, according to 6sqft, and has reportedly heard interest from over a dozen Chelsea vendors. Grand Bazaar NYC runs every Sunday at 100 West 77 St., and includes over 43,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space.