OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida staple is set to close soon. Now, officials and organizations are lending a helping hand to business owners in the community.
The city of Opa-Locka, along with non-profit organizations like the Miami Foundation, are supporting vendors of the Opa-Locka Hialeah Flea Market as the location is set to be shut down.
“This is a fabric of our family, so it was necessary for the City of Opa-Locka to step in and see what we could do and how we could facilitate the preservation of this important part of our community,” said Interim Opa-Locka City Manager Darvin Williams.
The flea market has been a fixture in the community for decades.
Earlier this year, vendors were told they had to leave after the market’s owners decided to redevelop the land.
“When we received the news, that was like something that we never expect,” said Isairas Chinicle, a vendor.
“Being there for a long time, having the clientele and just have to move overnight, it’s not easy,” said Deen Albadawi, another vendor.
Now, the city and non-profits are helping some vendors relocate to the market’s new spot, allowing them to stay in business.
“Each vendor will receive $500 to help kind of pay for those things to make the relocation a little bit easier,” said the Miami Foundation’s Brittany Morgan.
The market will move to an indoor location two blocks away, near Northwest 42nd Avenue and 135th Street.
“There’s gonna be air conditioning, there’s gonna be security, the rain and the flooding is not gonna be a problem like it was at the old location,” said Jona Landman, a representative for the new flea market.
The vendors said they’re grateful for the help and are happy to be back in business.
“Thanks to the City of Opa-Locka, they helped a lot, they supported us with the moving, and now they’re helping us for grants from Miami, so we appreciate that. Hopefully that goes through,” said Albadawi.
“Excited about everything, I mean, we keep going. Business is on, so we don’t have to get out. We’re here,” said Chinicle.
Opa-Locka has also given vendors 90 extra days to relocate.
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