Sunday, November 23, 2014

Western NY flea market move takes baby steps forward

The Super Flea

The Super Flea on Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Slowly but surely, the proposed closure and relocation of the Super Flea market in Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., is taking baby steps forward. According to a report in the Buffalo News, the proposal has gone through one round of public comments, and will see another later this month.

The goal of the developers of the site, Benderson Development, is to close the flea market and use the spot for a big-box retail store. That would require rezoning the site from “light manufacturing” to “general commercial.” The Cheektowaga Town Board is holding a public hearing on the zoning change at 6:45 p.m. on June 20.

The flea market would be relocated by the developer under a new name, the Buffalo News reports:

“Benderson is looking to create an upscale farmers’ market at the nearly vacant Garden Village Plaza, on the southeast corner of French and Union roads. To be renamed Garden Village Plaza Market Place, the new site would operate with limits on what types of items may be sold, town officials said. Tenants also would be subject to terms of a tenant handbook, which the town would have some say in crafting.”

One vendor who currently sells at the Super Flea flea market says that he can see some advantages in the move. “Obviously I don’t want to lose my outlet for making sales, but the building over there leaves a lot to be desired. The roof especially is in horrible condition,” says Andrew Osborne, the owner of Vapor Trail E-Cigarettes. “If they’re going to turn this into a big box or whatever, I would not be opposed to that if I found out that they intend to move the flea market to somewhere different.”

The proposed new site seems like a good one to Osborne. “I know exactly where that Garden Village Plaza is. I think that’s an excellent location. I think it would do a great service to this community by having it be a little more upscale. And you don’t have to segregate people based on what they are trying to sell to do that.”

He realizes that his own product line could conceivably be among those excluded. “I may fall into that category myself, because we sell electronic cigarettes, so it’s very possible that our products could be one of the things that they say ‘No, we don’t want anything to do with that,’ and we would be out.” However, Osborne hopes to make a strong case to the contrary. “Actually, we’re selling something that’s promoting a healthier lifestyle,” he says.

Referring to the deterioration of the building at the Super Flea and rumors of sellers of counterfeit goods there, Osborne also hopes to find out more about the plans for the swap meet — especially since hard news has been difficult to get, he says. “I’ve been trying to get some information, but no one seems to know anything.”

Photo credit, with thanks: The My Wife Takes Me Places blog

Comments

5 Responses to “Western NY flea market move takes baby steps forward”
  1. bendoverson says:

    Stupid clowns in Cheektovegas— super flea no more an eyesore that all of walden avenue, just a giant industrial zone of trucks and mortar warehouses. I hate to break it to you, but Cheektovegas is not beautiful with or without superflea. Dummies.

  2. Skimask says:

    WHY does EVERYTHING have to be “upscale”? Why can’t anything be gritty, honest, down to earth, grass roots and working class? That’s what the Super Flea was. No pretension. No fakery. Everything thses days has to be like Starbuck’s, D’avolio, Ellicotville – all snooty. The Working Class is under constant attack, and here is one more example. I don’t WANT to go to some “nice” (boring) “upscale” farmer’s market! I want to go somewhere REAL. With the popularity of shows like “American Pickers”, such a place should be considered a treasure to whatever community it is in. Just as this region passed on Splash Lagoon and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that wanted to locate here before Erie and Cleveland were ultimately chosen, now it will stupidly get rid of one of its most unique assets. For another ugly empty Benderson for-lease building, of which there are already many, which are the REAL “eyesores”, not the folksy and charming Super Flea.

    • Aliphatic says:

      Damn skippy. I have to say I wouldn’t mind a nice clean farmer’s market, but it is definately not a replacement for Superflea. I think Benderson is totally missing the point as to why people go there and what they want from the experience. And while I wouldn’t use the words ‘folksy’ or ‘charming’ to describe anything about Superflea, there is a definite appeal to the place, and the world will be that much more dull if it is gone.
      As an aside, a recent article stated there would be a walmart put in it’s stead, isn’t there a Walmart about two miles down the road?

  3. Jean says:

    I would be interested in renting a booth/area. I’d like more information on the flea and renting. Thanks!!!

    • Lilo says:

      I like the flea market where it is. Benderson wants upscale which means pricey. Which means sellers will have to increase their prices. If you want a space you have to go there and ask.

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