For decades, the Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach has offered bargains to retail shoppers and a place for entrepreneurs to sell just about anything. Now it appears that the decades-old shopping center may soon give way to a warehouse. Developer IDI Logistics has filed a zoning change application with the city, which describes the property as ideal for a warehouse.
A warehouse would be built on the site of a 382,000-square-foot building that houses the existing flea market. It was built in 1986 and is currently used by hundreds of small vendors. The developer says it will seek tenants who have operations similar to those of the company’s other warehouse distribution-type businesses in North Miami, Hialeah and Plantation.
The development will require a special exception because it is not considered a neighborhood business, according to the city’s planning and zoning department. The company has not yet identified the tenant, but it has said it will seek to get “typical warehouse distribution-type” tenants and will work with the city to find the right business for the location.
Several festival flea market vendors have voiced concern about the possible loss of their businesses, and they have asked that the city provide assistance to help them relocate to new locations. A number of the vendors have been in the mall for more than 20 years, and they have a loyal following of customers. They also generate revenue that translates into tax dollars for the state, county and city.
Some shoppers have questioned why the owner would want to demolish the facility, especially when it is such a popular attraction. The answer is that the Festival Flea Market Hall isn’t just a collection of stores; it’s a one-of-a-kind shopping destination that attracts 4 million visitors a year.
The 400,000-square-foot mall features over 800 stores with everything from designer clothing to high-end perfume. Shoppers can browse the antiques markets and the indoor farmer’s market, and there are plenty of family-friendly events and activities throughout the year.
The nearby Tradewinds Park and Stables is the perfect place for a day of horse and pony riding, fishing, a model steam train ride, a kiddie play area or just relaxing on a beachfront picnic table. The beach itself is less than a 20-minute drive from the Festival Flea Market, and offers a much-needed retreat from Florida’s scorching heat. A free shuttle bus runs from the festival to the beach at certain times during the week. For those who do not have their own vehicles, the Red Route of the Pompano Beach Community Bus System stops at the mall twice daily. Parking and entry to the festival are free. Those who want to take the bus can call (954) 574-2222 for schedules and more information.