Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Flea, already well known in the brownstone neighborhood of Fort Greene, has opened another location along the East River in Williamsburg.
Co-founder Eric Demby said the new site is utilizing land from a residential complex called The Edge that slowed its expansion during the economic downturn.
"The sales at their condo didn't go quite as fast as they thought and invited us to do the market in the footprint of what was going to be a third building," he said.
Developers said sales in the 565-unit condo complex are half sold, but they don't plan to construct a third building any time soon. Instead, they are renting 40,000-square feet to the Brooklyn Flea — a space that will feature about 140 booths every Sunday through November.
Vendors pay $100 for a 10-by-10 space, with prime real estate along the fence selling at a premium. Food trucks that require stalls with electricity cost about $200.
Starting in late May, Saturdays at the Williamsburg location will be dubbed Smorgasburg and be devoted to food.
Denby said the growing interest in artisanal local food as well as having more space for a variety of options, spawned the idea: "A good 30 or 40 percent of our vendors already sell food, so we're expanding that by also bringing in green market vendors."
The new site along the East River is between North 6th and North 7th streets and is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every Sunday through November.