Remember August? Just a few months ago, expensive new apartment buildings had about finished displacing the antiques and flea market scene in Chelsea. The Antiques Garage, the most authentic flea market left in New York City, was losing its home to a developer who bought the land for $42.7 million. Closing day was slated for November 30.
In a report from Crain's on the flea's planned migration to Hell's Kitchen, Alan Boss, "Lord of the Fleas," who founded The Garage in 1993, sounded resigned: "The inevitability of change is guaranteed, but as the door to one opportunity closes, another one opens."
Seems that door slammed shut and then flew open again pretty fast. By September, Chelsea Now was reporting The Garage's new lease on 25th Street life:
. . . Boss chalked Extell’s decision up to the struggling economy, adding that constructing residential apartments or a hotel “at this time would not be a wise investment.”
“There needs to be some kind of agreement between us, and I am now waiting to hear back from the ownership relative to that,” he said about negotiations with Extell. “I would assume—and that’s a big word, assume—that we would probably be there for some time.”
The article went on to say that Extell may be trying to give Boss a month-to-month lease, but he's holding out for more favorable terms.
Chelsea's flea market scene used to boast up to 6,700 vendors in a single weekend. If the economy gets even worse, maybe we'll see its return. Just give it a couple months.