A multi-vendor shopping venue known as The Value Fair Market, located in a former department store in Little Ferry, N.J., is reaching out to offer a new home to the hundreds of vendors pushed out of work by the closing of the famed Aqueduct Flea Market in Queens, NY, which closed January 1st, evicted in favor of a new casino being built there. That’s not because of a lack of room, but because the new “racino” gambling venue project organizers feel that a flea market is not an “appropriate use” of a space meant to attract a high-end, high-rolling clientele, according to a local community leader.
Value Fair Market is just 25 miles and a 37-minute drive from the Aqueduct Race Track. The market’s currently displaced 1,100 vendors are hoping the market will move to a new location, but even the market’s manager is skeptical about that. Carol DeSanto, general manager of the Aqueduct Flea Market, told FleaMarketZone.com in November that she has not given up hope for a new venue, but she knows that, realistically speaking, it will be very hard. “Most places aren’t big enough for the market,” she says. “We’ve had real estate people looking for years to try to find something else for us in the area, but that seems impossible. We’re still looking.”
Now, Value Fair is stepping into the breach. The market is actively seeking to offer Aqueduct vendors a new home, according to Value Fair head of operations and marketing Michael Unger. “I really want to make an overture to the guys at the Aqueduct. I think that’s important,” he says. “I would take the Aqueduct vendors, if they want to come here. I know what they are paying there, and we’ll give them a better rent deal, too. I think it is a shame. These guys are going to lose their business.”
Unger passed out fliers at the Aqueduct Flea Market in the days before it closed. The Value Fair Web site offers “Special Incentives For Aqueduct Vendors That Relocate To Value Fair Market.” “Aqueduct is 20 miles from here,” says Unger. “I’ll give them a free month’s rent if they want to test it out.”
Value Fair in New Jersey opened a year ago and is still growing. The market is building a food court, with a brick-oven pizza and other food vendors ready to go, and it recently installed new signage. Spaces start at $750 per month and scale up depending on size and location. “That’s a great deal,” says Unger. “Some of the guys at the Aqueduct were paying $200 per day.”
For information about the Value Fair Market, call (201) 347-2265