In the face of increasing public opposition, Nashville mayor Karl Dean has shelved plans to move the Nashville Flea Market from its traditional home at the state fairgrounds to a new venue at a less-than-thriving mall at the edge of town.
The news comes as a poll of the market’s vendors, conducted by a supporter of the fairgrounds, shows overwhelming vendor support for staying put. Of the 280 vendors surveyed, 274 said they wanted to stay put. FleaMarketZone.com has previously reported on the efforts of those opposed to the move.
In recent days, move opponents have questioned the price agreed on to lease a former big-box store as a home to the flea market. Many deem a $1 million annual rent to be extreme. And metro council members have introduced resolutions to stop the project — after some toured the market and listened to vendor complaints.
There is still some question as to the disposition of other traditional activities at the fairgrounds, the racetrack and the state fair.
According to a Dec. 1 letter from the office of the mayor:
A number of legitimate questions and concerns have been raised about the mall’s suitability as a new venue for the Expo events and Flea Market. It makes sense at this juncture to take a time out and, just like we did with the convention center hotel, do more homework to see if we can find a better deal for the City … Further, vendors and customers of the Flea Market and Expo can plan on remaining at the Fairgrounds throughout 2011 as this study proceeds.
However, there is still a great deal of uncertainly to the situation, and to the final disposition of the fairgrounds, the flea market, the racetrack, and the Tennessee State Fair.