After 26 years, Tampa’s Big Top Flea Market will close for good this spring

Ready for more townhomes?


We’ve been following the imminent closing of Tampa’s beloved Big Top Flea Market for a few weeks now, and now it appears it will officially close its doors. 

An official statement from Big Top management—given to CL Tampa native Tony Trester, who live streamed a development meeting last night—told vendors that the flea market’s last day open will be April 26.

“After 26 years in operation, the owners of Big Top Flea Market have decided to close the market on April 26, 2020 at 5 p.m….we thank you for your patronage. We hope to make this a smooth transition for you,” the statement reads. 

The market will be open to its vendors from April 27-May 3 to allow them to remove property and clean out their stalls. After May 3, Big Top will be permanently closed. 

Tampa resident and flea market defender Tony Trester, who made the original Facebook post about the closure of Big Top, attended the rezoning development meeting last night at the Hillsborough County Center. To his dismay, the future of Big Top was barely discussed at the meeting. 

“The only real complaints on behalf of the community had nothing to do with keeping Big Top open, but more along the lines of the traffic situation going down Fowler and the one way road for the school on the east side of the property,” Trester told CL.  “Only a half a dozen people showed up in protest.”

However, it was confirmed at last night’s rezoning development meeting that the Big Top property will soon be turned into a residential and commercial hotspot. According to Trester, there will be 292 residential units and 32,000 square-feet of commercial businesses, which will includes a bank, fast food restaurant, and office spaces. 

click to enlarge C/O TONY TRESTER

No specific development plans were discussed at the meeting, but a blueprint from Genesis Construction Group outlining the future residential and commercial space has been circulating online. The blueprint, which reads "Fowler Avenue Apartments" across the top is a proposal for Liv Properties, an Alabama-based developer with upscale apartment complexes in Brandon and Sarasota. 

Head to Big Top flea market over these next few weeks and barter some deals as the remaining vendors start to liquidate their products.

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