2006-01-06 / Community

Seaside Flea Market At The Rock To Open May 2006

By Roseanne Honan

Partners of progress: Pictured (from left): Janet Henriquez, Director of Business & Professional Services at RDRC; Leroy Temple, Seaside Flea Market at the Rock partner; Alan Finchley; Curtis L. Archer, Executive Director at RDRC; Abby Feldman, Marketing Director at Seaside Flea Market; and Valerie L. West, the Division’s Business Associate. 
Partners of progress: Pictured (from left): Janet Henriquez, Director of Business & Professional Services at RDRC; Leroy Temple, Seaside Flea Market at the Rock partner; Alan Finchley; Curtis L. Archer, Executive Director at RDRC; Abby Feldman, Marketing Director at Seaside Flea Market; and Valerie L. West, the Division’s Business Associate.

A flea market that will launch in May 2006 promises to merge artistic sensibilities and business opportunities to create a cultural and economic mecca in the Rockaways, The Wave has learned.

The flea market, “Seaside Flea Market at the Rock,” has all the makings of becoming a haven for artistic craftspeople and merchandisers in and around the peninsula, fostering an atmosphere of community cohesion. It will be located from Beach 9 to Beach 17 Streets on Seagirt Boulevard, on New York City Parks and Recreation Department land.

Alan Finchley, who created successful flea market ventures in Monticello, New York and Post Chester, was interested in bringing his over 30 years of flea market expertise to another venue: the Rockaways. He turned to several organizations, primarily the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), to make his dream a reality. “After the first meeting I knew I came to the right place,” Finchley said in a RDRC quarterly bulletin.

According to Finchley and Abby Feldman, Director of Marketing for the Seaside Flea Market at the Rock, the market will offer a creative mix of merchandise and art pieces for the Rockaway community, enabling locals to have an outlet for their creativity, while also serving as a centralized site for residents to view showcased arts and goods.

The development of Far Rockaway is in an upward swing; with the advent of the Arverne by the Sea expansions and the housing boom taking place around the Far Rockaway area, the flea market offers more than just the chance to buy and sell goods. Finchley and the RDRC hope to create a broad spectrum of roles the marketplace can fit in to, uniting culture, art, music and education together.

Finchley and Feldman have been in contact with the Rockaway Artists Alliance and president Geoff Rawling for a proposed plan to let artists not only participate on a commercial level, but also exhibit their work at the flea market in a gallery-style setting.

“You can’t forget the artistic community, and there should be a need to support the grass-roots community to bring out the talent of locals, and support mom and pop businesses before big business comes into an area,” said Feldman. Seaside Flea Market at the Rock strives to develop into a well-rounded location, complete with food stands; quality merchandise such as jewelry, antiques, handbags and other goods; and music. “The market will be a broader spectrum to appeal to the entire community, while offering a cultural and educational place to bring the community together and address the community’s needs,” added Feldman. Accordingto Fleamarket guide. com, Seaside Flea Market at the Rock will become the only major outdoor flea market in Queens.

There were several committed groups of people that Finchley and Feldman said were instrumental making their vision a reality. “The RDRC was extremely supportive. Curtis Archer and project coordinator Janet Henriquez had a vision and great management skills to get the project to a running start. Henriquez and her team’s efforts took the idea to the next level,” stated Finchley and Feldman via a telephone interview to The Wave. In conjunction with the RDRC’s support, Councilman James Sanders Jr. helped facilitate permits and other necessary requirements for the Parks Department land; while Community Board 14 and its District Manager Jonathan Gaska were committed to getting the flea market off and running.

Now that plans for Seaside Flea Market at the Rock are in motion, Finchley and Feldman are looking for vendors with quality merchandise to fill up the expected 200 spaces at the marketplace, hoping to draw in locals as well as other vendors interested in becoming a part of the Seaside Flea Market at the Rock community. They’ll help with the legalities, such as the acquisition of an NYS sales tax certificate, as well as host seminars starting in 2006 that will help with the business side of selling. “This is a great avenue to penetrate the commercial marketplace, and a great place to start or expand in their home community,” said Feldman. The Seaside Flea Market hopes to create a holistic approach, creating a group of vendors that can grow together with the fledgling market.

Brochures are available through the RDRC. For more information or for vendor sign-up, contact the RDRC at (718) 327-5300, or the Seaside Flea Market at the Rock at (516) 897-1852 or seasidefleamarket@yahoo.com.

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