A Facebook post describing the closure of beloved Big Top Flea Market by Tampa native Tony Trester has gotten almost 3,000 shares in less than 24 hours. His caption reads “Well it’s official...Big Top Flea Market is being sold (if not already) and will close before the Fall of 2020. What a shame,” alongside photos of a rezoning development meeting sign and empty vendor stalls.
Underneath his post are countless comments from disappointed Tampanians describing their sentiments towards the indoor-outdoor flea market, which has been providing odds and ends out of its 1,200 stalls since 1991.
“I've had a friend working there since '91 and I talked to him this weekend,” Trester told CL. “He informed me the [Big Top] had a meeting last Sunday informing all the tenants that a housing development was most likely going to be constructed. According to management they're not entirely sure when.”
Big Top Flea Market may encounter a similar developmental fate as its fellow Tampa Flea Market Oldsmar did in 2018, when developer Grady Pridgen bought the entire property for $11.35 million dollars; the 40-year-old Tampa landmark will soon be revamped into a new food and entertainment destination.
But for Big Top, resting at 9250 East Fowler Ave., the future is still uncertain. There is a public hearing on January 21 at 6 p.m. at the Hillsborough County Center regarding the rezoning of Big Top, where Tampa residents can come out and vouch for their beloved flea market.