The Tennessee State Fairgrounds Flea Market, just named the best flea market in central Tennessee by the readers of Tennessee Magazine, is changing its name in preparation for a move to a new venue in 2011. The “Nashville Flea Market,” along with a range of events currently held on the fairgrounds, will be moving to a new expo center that is part of the renovation of a down-at-the-heels mall in Nashville.
A local newspaper, The Tennessean, has extensively covered this story over the last week, with reports on the move, more details on the mall renovation, the city’s funding of the project, and flea market vendor reactions. Also check out this video news report from WSMV.
The 2010 Tennessee State Fair, which is running right now at the traditional fairgrounds site, will need to find a new location next year. The new exposition center will be made from a currently unoccupied Dillard’s department store at the Hickory Hollow Mall.
According to the flea market manager, Deborah Dornan, “Our current location is slated to close Dec. 31 of this year. We are moving to a new location with our January show.” She was sanguine about the move, seeing several advantages. “They’re going to build a state-of-the-art exposition center. That is where we will be housed,” she says. “Change is not always a bad thing. Our buildings are old. A state-of-the-art facility, compared to what we have now, would be wonderful.”
Nashville Expo Center executive director Buck Dozier explains the move as an economic necessity, since the city will now be free to put the prime real estate of the fairgrounds to better use. “The property is very valuable, and the mayor has been looking for a number of years to put it on the tax rolls,” he says. “This piece of land is too valuable for its current use. A greater good can come out of the property.”